Title of the activity
Magnetic and Burning Touch
At least 20 minutes, up to 1.5 h or more with further development
Even number, the facilitator participates if needed to create pairs
Activity proposed by
Vimmart – Inclusive Art School
To generate interaction between two people, especially through touch. Through practice, inspire new ways of moving and letting go of the production of dance and movement. Developing the attention to a sensory input such as a “magnetic or “burning” touch”.
Sound System and safe space for movement.
It is also possible for part of the group to provide a soundscape for the movers through body rhythms, drums or other instruments.
It is usually easier to do the exercise if there is a calm soundscape/music in the background that does not impose itself and lets participants focus on each other. Prepare a playlist suitable for the exercise in advance.
The space should be as accessible as possible so that it is easy for the participants to move around.
It is a good idea to discuss with the group on the limits of touching.
- Getting started
Divide the group randomly into pairs. One is the first to touch and the other is the first to move.
- Magnetic touch
The mover takes up a basic position with eyes closed. The toucher places his/her palm on the body of the partner. First, let’s imagine that the touch is magnetic, i.e. it attracts the mover. So the mover moves towards the touch from the part of the body where the touch is felt. The movement continues until the toucher takes his hand away from the movers body. At that point, the mover returns to the neutral starting position.
It is very important that the toucher does not try to manipulate the movement of the mover – the toucher just touches and the mover decides how to move. The aim is to move honestly towards the touch, not to produce a pretty or fancy dance.
The next step is for partners to swap roles. There is no talking during the exercise, but afterwards you can give space to exchange ideas with the partner.
- Burning touch
Next, let’s imagine the touch to be burning hot so the mover moves away from the touch. The mover’s eyes are still closed. The toucher’s role is also to ensure the safety of the mover. The roles are again reversed at the instructor’s prompting.
- The mover decides
The exercise can be continued further. Next, the mover can decide whether the touch is magnetic or burning. The length of the touch can be varied and several touches can be given at the same time. It is also possible to give different types of touch, i.e. to use more than the palm of the hand. Again, the toucher simply touches and the quality of the touch is decided by the mover. The exercise is done in both directions with a partner.
- Memory of the touch
The mover imagines the touch, i.e. moves based on the memory of the touch. The exercise can be done with a partner, where the partner witnesses the mover’s movement and ensures the safety of the mover.
Observe: if participants could engage in the proposals
Ask and Discuss: what was easy for the participants, what was difficult, what was pleasant or unpleasant, how they felt, what they discovered, whether something surprised them
Hints/tips for facilitators
It is very important that the toucher does not try to manipulate the movement of the mover and it is worth reminding participants of this when necessary. The toucher simply touches and the mover decides how to move.
The exercise can even be worked up to a collective performance, where everyone moves on the basis of different touch impulses or memories of them.
The exercise is from the Finnish method Tanssi-innostaminen® (transl. Dance animateuring)
It is an artistic-pedagogical method developed by Raisa Foster, PhD. It aims to animate individuals and communities through a variety of exercises.