Tenderness is a form of existence – Ina Stockem

The T&P Spectrum for this workshop is: , , , , ,

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa

Based on the upper text, I want to explore touch as a communication tool, a language of touch to connect. Why are there so many highly developped methods of giving professional feedback, on communication skills via coaching, intervision and mentoring – based on verbal language only? How can you read and listen body language in order to fulfill the need of the person on a physical level?

I work with children and old people. Why do we touch them easily: why is it hard with the ages inbetween? We know physical contact in four socio-economically “permitted” areas: in a partnership, in dealing with children, old people and animals. We know it is because of sexual issues. Still we need affection, tenderness and cuddles. There are so many grey zones in between intimacy, sexuality, love and friendship. And all definitions change from contact to contact, from situation to situation. Especially for people who have no access to or knowlegde of body work or contact dance whatsoever. How can one cross these barriers – the habit of talking somebody out of sadness/anger and crying? Wouldn’t it be better just to hold the person close in your arms until it just feels better? What can value feelings better than touch? Our longing for it never stops.

I personally would like to combine all facettes of my work: touch, sex, intimacy, love, relationship issues, questions around polyamory and bisexuality. I’ve visited cuddle parties. What is the appropiate answer from the contact dance scene? How to create a safe space where you feel protected enough to be vulnerable using CI? At the moment I organize the touch based experimental movement BodyLounge, I work via touch with demented people, my interest in BDSM and feminist porn conflicts with the longing for a primary relationship and a family.

Bodylounge – extracts from a review by Dara Colwell

A journey of physical movement, BodyLounge was created by performer Ina Stockem to blur the line between real life and theatre.  Like many performances, BodyLounge begins in the dark – except that here the entire audience is literally left in the dark. They are blindfolded. “By taking your sight away, you are immediately thrown back on your other senses”, says Ute Pliestermann, who organized the production and also performs. “It takes censorship away. It‟s like covering your eyes when you are a child – because you think you won‟t be seen, you are allowed to do anything. So you express yourself in complete freedom.”

At BodyLounge, the performance both moves around and through its audience, but what I found the most exhilarating was how much everything depended on trust. As an interactive participant, I had to trust my interaction with unseen strangers, which allowed me to play. Having hands coming at me from all directions certainly helped unlock boundaries. “Touch is really becoming a taboo, it‟s experienced as being either scary or dangerous”, says Pliestermann. “People need to be touched, not only in a physical way, but in a deeper, ideological way. This is what we‟re trying to achieve with BodyLounge.” Or, as one guest put it so well on their website: “BodyLounge is the closest you can come to the first good sex in your life. It can also be like being a baby again, blind and clumsy and loving your nine armed, seven legged mother whatever she does to you, even if she spanks”

Check out the website: www.bodylounge.eu

Read Ina Stockem’s biography