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One of the most affecting consequences of Covid-19, with its twin requirements of confinement and social distancing, is the absence of touch. Many people, particularly those living alone or forced to isolate by themselves, have been unable to touch or be touched by other human beings for a long time, something which has profound psychological implications.
This is the starting point for Richard Chappell Dance's intensely tender and moving short film, Still Touch. In it two young dancers, Sharol Mackenzie and Faye Stoeser, perform alongside two human sculptures by renowned artist Anna Gillespie to a score by Samuel Hall.
Filmed by Dan Martin, Still Touch is set in a narrow neon-lit empty room and portrays the vital enjoyment of touching, with the two bodies almost becoming one; and all the while, in a pointed reference to our times, the score is punctuated by the sound of breathing.
Still Touch marks the launch of Richard Chappell Dance's new season. The company creates site-specific dance works rooted in interdisciplinary collaboration, always prioritising emotion and human connectivity. Based in Exeter, Devon, the company tours extensively, both in the UK and abroad, and has close partnerships and collaborations with a large number of cultural institutions.
The second film in the season, which will be released on Monday 12 April, takes inspiration from the writings of modern-day Welsh druid Kristoffer Hughes and focuses on how our connection to outdoor environments can improve our mental health.
The summer will see large-scale outdoor performances of Our Roads Home, an ambitious project that will culminate in an original dance film about togetherness and community empowerment.
|What||Richard Chappell Dance, Still Touch|
|Where||Online | MAP|
24 Mar 21 – 24 Mar 22, Premieres at 18:00 Dur.: 5 mins approx