Slow, Soft and Spacious
21-26 JULY 2023
We will be collectively cultivating the space to dance, discover and connect within the framework of the Touch&Play culture.
Our time together begins with an opening circle ritual and cultivating a community of care through our consent framework. Each participant will have the opportunity to take one intensive. The afternoons will hold community offerings, ritual, and spaciousness to rest, play and integrate. Evenings are full of dance, play and exploration. Some of the themes we explore are Contact Improvisation, Movement & Dance, Consent & Communication, Self-Exploration, Sensuality & Sexuality, BDSM & kink, Nature & Wilderness, Community and Spirituality.
INTENSIVES: An Intensive Class is taught most every morning of the retreat. Each participant signs up for only one. Intensive offerings run parallel so you will be part of only one group.
AFTERNOON OFFERINGS: You can choose in the moment how you’d like to enjoy your afternoons.
SPACE TO INTEGRATE: Sharing groups, cuddle spaces, sauna, hot tub and acres of woods offer space to integrate our experiences.
EVENING ACTIVITIES: Evening activities will be full of intrique and delight! Curated dance spaces, ritual, costumes, an evening of performances, an exploratorium, and more!
Sacred Mask Work: 2nd Chakra, Angels & Pleasure
with Akil Apollo Davis
This magical intensive aims to shift and enhance your physical movement and perspective, heal the pleasure centers in the body and equip you with powerful tools to blossom more pleasure and power in yourself and daily life. The intensive begins with a discussion on the taboos and true functions of Pleasure, followed by an explanation on how the Masks are created, how to use them, how they work on the body and what to expect. Next, free form movement combined with beautiful music and side coaching create the space for deep and personal transformation, healing, empowerment and exploration.
After each session a talk-back illuminates the experience and allows deeper understanding and connection via sharing. The power of repeated intensive work is in the fact that the more one works with Masks the deeper and more impactful the work is. Once you learn how to swim for the first time, you can begin to discover more of the “Ocean” of Self. This magical intensive aims to shift and enhance your physical movement and perspective, heal the pleasure centers in the body and equip you with powerful tools to blossom more pleasure and power in yourself and daily life
The Masks that will be used are drawn by Akil in a state of trance-channeling and carved by a Balinese Priest.
Healthy 2nd Chakra
Angels (images of divine energy)
Healthy Sexual Energy
The Dance of becoming
with Helen Tocci & Jaycelle Pequet
We are heartbreakers. We are heart healers. Before we developed our own heartbeat we were grown by this rhythm from another. We are always in…and just learning to dance. When we dance with another person, the invitation might be this. How do we hold this most precious human in the dance of becoming? Join Jaycelle and Helen in a fun, tender and sexy exploration of attachment styles while practicing the art of partner dance. Through this work, we aim to up our capacity to be secure bases for ourselves and for our partners both on and off the dance floor. This intensive is perfect for anyone who desires to navigate brave and expansive ways of humaning – queerness, polyamory, kink, etc – with ease and awareness. We will cultivate an enhanced sense of awareness and communication, expand connection possibilities, and build skills to clarify invitations and boundaries. We will explore both the technique and energetics of dancing in a lead / follow relationship and become fluent at embodying both roles. We will dive into the fundamental aspects of partner dance – pulse, weight shifts, connecting to your partner, and connecting to the music – any kind of music. Our resilience will be strengthened by naming our curiosities and revealing both our discomforts as well as our pleasures. With gentleness we will invite each other to deepen our awareness of the quality of our connections; to find stillness together so we can soften what we are holding and melt into deeper relation with ourselves and each other. We will leave this time together with an embodied knowledge of the ways that our attachments show up in our internal lives and relationships and move forward with new skills to navigate connection with grace and spaciousness.
LAB- Imaginal Cells
with Murry Eyeball
Intro to Kink
with Clove Silk
We will begin with a facilitated conversation by a panel of professional sex workers, kinksters, and BDSM practitioners about their experiences with and perspectives on different aspects of kink. It will be followed by demonstrations of different forms of impact, sensation play, and power dynamics before open experimentation time.
Dancestry: A Costume Dance Celebration of Ancestors & Elements
by Nikita Brovkin & Parneet Chohan
Celebrate your ancestors, the earth, the elements and the lands that support us with Nikita & Parneet. Move & Groove with the elements to connect, celebrate and be held by the lands and our lineages. This is a space to bask in our interconnectedness to all beings before us, after us, within us and around us. You are encouraged to dress up in a way that celebrates your lineage, ethnicity, culture or as an element you love; fire, water, air or earth. Cultural appropriation is not tolerated at this event. Please respect and honour your own lineages, explore your own cultural and ethnic traditions and peacefully leave alone traditions that do not come from your own ancestry. This is an invitation to get curious about where you come from and breathing life back into your own ancestry!
with Hazel Turrone
Around the world, grief rituals have been an intricate part of communal practices to support health and connection – giving space to release what is held individually and collectively. Here, in our culture, grief is generally only given a small window of acceptance at funerals and memorials. Yet, grief is an intimate partner in the dance of joy. When space is created to allow grief to move, it supports deep healing, liberation of old patterns, and a greater capacity to experience joy. It is said that grief is the greatest gift to our ancestors. When we feel the grief our bodies carry (and that our lineages have been carrying for thousands of years), we are metabolizing the trauma that our people were unable to digest. This liberates them and thus allows us greater access to reconnect to the strengths and medicines of the ancient ones whose memories whisper in our bones and blood.
This ritual is an invitation. There will be no expectations about how grief shows up or moves through you. You are welcome to arrive with all that you are and all that you carry and simply be present in whatever capacity you are able in the moment.
Shadow and Light : An Alchemical Fire Ritual
with Chaya Leia Aronson
Drawing from traditions near and far, honoring lineages known and unknown that form the foundation of this practice, we gather in the moonlight, in the elements, with the alchemical fire in the center, holding and supporting our collective magic.
This ritual is about the polarity of opposites and the honoring of the medicine of shadow and light. In the spirit of the lineage we are creating, last year was Transmutation. What did we burn and transmute in ourselves, in our collective?
This year is the Pause. What would it feel like to drink in the pause that is the space between each exhale and the next inhale? And what if we moved from that place in music, in dance, in connection. In the realm of the spirits of shadow and light, how would we show up? What divine balance of shadow and light would you be? And could you embrace yourself in that exactly as you are?
With sacred song, drumming, focused intention and delightful play, we will work our magic around the fire circle together. The magic we weave with our personal and collective intentions is greater than the sum of its parts.
with Murry Eyeball
The Exploratorium is an evening of sensory experience and experimentation! Explorers will meander throughout our spaces, pausing at booths to play, witness and offer experiences. Previous offerings have been a hot wax station, kissing booth, oiled sock wrestling, flogging booth, fire play demo, rope demo, fire poi, lap dance station, sensation station and human buffet. During registration, interested participants will have a chance to sign up to offer something during this evening.
with Kelindah bee Schuster
The show at Touch&Play Earthdance is a cohesive evening of performance offerings from participants, which takes place in the Umbrella Barn, transformed into a theater for the night. This show is a chance for artists to express, expel and exchange with offerings they may not be able to share in other contexts, while being witnessed and held by the rest of the community. Performers, who will sign up to perform during pre-registration, may prepare pieces prior to the event or create them organically throughout the week. This year’s show will highlight offerings that revolve around the theme The Pause: Soft, Slow, and Spacious.
with Parneet Chohan and Yakir Englander
The Liquid Love RItual is a collective immersive exploration of sensuality.
After being guided in a regressive journey, warm coconut oil is poured over each body offering freedom from friction. There is space to explore alone as well as within the fluid sea of sliding bodies. Everyone is invited to respect their own rhythm and limits to touch and nudity.
Allow yourself to be moved without intentions or sexual orientation. Be present with erotic sensations and thoughts but rather than act on them, relax into the energetic flow of the bodies around you.
Pleasure Palace Play Party
with Clove Silk
Delight in all your senses at The Pleasure Palace. Feed and be fed, enjoy tantalizing textures, erotic aural experiences and scintillating sights. After a series of scaffolded consent exercises to practice embodying our yes’s and no’s, the space will open to a range of different kinds of intimate play.
Photography: share your light
by Aeric Meredith-Goujon
partner with me in order to show your realness and your beauty in as full a manner as possible.
Touch&Play from its inception has been based on questions rather than answers. We don’t pretend to know what it is that you want or need nor what you will actually take with you from your time with us.
We frame out spaces as being both Experimental and Experiential and invite you to be the principal author of your journey. Through that lens we gift the opportunity to contribute to and enrich the journeys of those around you. We form an (a)temporal and interdependent community where all our thoughts, feelings and actions are woven together in a rich relational web.
How do you want to show up in this tribe and what do you want to offer? As you step in and become familiar with our practices and culture, you will see many ways of adding your grain of salt. Perhaps you feel called to join our Soothe & Care Team or hold a booth at the Exploratorium; maybe you decide to sign up for an extra chore or propose a community offering or affinity group. The ways of stepping up are many and you get to feel into how you weave yourself in.
We welcome everyone to step in…
We aren’t just creating an event to come experience, Touch&Play cultivates community. It takes all of us stepping-in to co-create a safer space. This event is also more enriched and enlivened by what we all weave into it. Everyone who is not holding a role, will be asked to sign up for clean shifts. We also will be inviting you to consider stepping-in in other ways.
Some of the ways include offering something during the Performance Night or Exploratorium, sharing a Community Offering, hosting a meal time Affinity Group, facilitating a jam or supporting a ritual.
Pre-event, participants will be invited to submit proposals for a 1.5 hour community offering. This could be a workshop or guided experience. A limited number will be selected to facilitate during one of the afternoons. Instead of a class, possible experiences that could be offered are: *Massage and Chocolate Lounge, *Erotic Storyhour Naptime, *Fortune-telling booth, *Cuddle Puddle.
SOOTHE & CARE TEAM
The Soothe&Care Team is a group of volunteers who are available throughout the event for inner-personal support. The intention is to cultivate a community of co-regulation. Volunteers attend one pre-event video meeting and a required in-person training meeting at 3pm the day the event begins. Volunteers choose when they have the capacity to be of support which can look like deep listening, breathing together, offering validation, or taking a walk.
More ways to support and feel supported…
We invite all the participants to be part of a small group and engage actively every day during a specific time created for that.
Sharing groups is one of the ways to support the integration of the T&P experience. It’s about listening, sharing and feeling with our diverse and wild realities.
The Peace Council is one of the structures that cultivates the culture of welcome and care that Touch&Play wishes to create. The Council deals with interpersonal conflicts between participants, teachers and/or organizers. A major part of its work is dealing with consent issues and the fallout caused by them. Depending on the size and location of the retreat, the councils are made up by the core organizers, a Touch&Play Global representative and an onsite team lead. The Peace Council leads are normally professionals in the field of mediation, restorative justice and/or crisis management. It is their role to gather and centralize relevant information on conflicts and consent concerns or violations, directly or through the Soothe & Care Team. They will evaluate how to support the parties involved in and affected by the conflict with an emphasis on self-responsibility, de-escalation and restorative justice. The full council is responsible for deciding on and implementing larger action such as the continued participation at the event of any given individual. The council is there to support the integrity of the container so that we may hold the complexity and edges of what we come to explore together. It is part of Touch&Play’s mission to seed peace in the world.
Medical & Emergency Support Team
When you register please let us know if you are a medical doctor, counselor/therapist, first-aid trained or a crisis intervention specialist and are open to being contacted by an organizer during the festival in case of an emergency (This is a confidential list that only Core Team, Soothe&Care Lead and Peace Council Lead will see.)
The Post-event Lab has traditionally been a space for organizers and facilitators to integrate their event experiences and lab new emergent ideas and possibilities. This space has been extended to any participants who have attended at least 2 Touch&Plays.
After registering for the event, a welcome letter will be sent which contains more info and a link to apply for the Post-Event Lab. It is held at Nine Mountain Retreat Center next door to Earthdance. Space is limited.
After the main event closes on July 26th, we will have time to slowly transition and gather for dinner at 6pm. After brunch on July 27th, we will begin the Lab. Departure is around noon on July 30th.