• Sonia Must Dance

Touch - Phase 1, Quarantined

I began conceiving of "Touch" when the first rumblings of a long quarantine and mandatory social distancing were put into place because of COVID19 in March of 2020. Dance of da Vinci 2.0 was canceled, dancers sent home, schools closed down. All of a sudden there was no physical contact at all.

I felt like I was crawling out of my skin.

We touch and are touched since the day we are born and placed on our mother's belly and then at her breast. We learn to discover our world through all of our senses and touch is one of them. Physical sensation. Hair twining in fingertips. The brush of lips on a cheek and later on lips when we find a lover. A hug, a caress. We hold hands, guided into the world and then let go to explore. We reconnect again and again through touch.

I made a long list of words for my task to create choreography. I then imagined how those words and images would change the movement depending on whom I was with and what time in my life. A grandfather, a sister, mother, friend, colleague, student, son, boyfriend, etc.

My dance partner, Richard Pye, is quarantined in London. I gave him the same tasks. We were waiting to hear on funding for the project when I was given the opportunity to dance "virtually" with a violinist half way around the world, Elinor Speirs, in Cape Town South Africa. The video you see is my side of the story with Elinor's music.

For the next phase I am giving Richard video of my dancing. He is to create his own movement based on what I am doing. I know what I imagined in my head. The exciting part is I have no idea what he will create or where he will put himself physically in relationship to me. Will he stand behind me in the opening sequence or face to face? Will he "touch" my cheek or foot or waist and with what body part? Will he imagine the weight of lifting me or of me lifting him? The anticipation is thrilling especially as we have never danced together. It will be a discovery on many levels.

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