Touch Compass are New Zealand's first and only all-inclusive professional dance company, with dancers of any and all abilities performing. Touch Compass focuses on dance-theatre and aerial works, drawing on a dance practice that emerged in 1972 called Contact Improvisation. Designed by Steve Paxton, the Contact Improvisation style involves exploring cooperation between bodies through weight sharing, touch and finding points of contact between dancers.
Paxton describes the style as a way to find codependency in dance. "The exigencies of the form dictate a mode of movement which is relaxed, constantly aware and prepared, and onflowing. As a basic focus, the dancers remain in physical touch, mutually supportive and innovative, meditating upon the physical laws relating to their masses: gravity, momentum, inertia, and friction. They do not strive to achieve results, but rather, to meet the constantly changing physical reality with appropriate placement and energy."
This year is Touch Compass' 20th anniversary and the company will be performing its piece, Somatechnics, at Summer in the Square this December. Somatechnics will be performed on Friday, December 1 at 12.30pm and then every day at 12.30pm and 1pm from Monday, December 4 until Friday, December 8.