Please Do Touch




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Peer reviewed



This abstract is for a live dance performance titled Please Do Touch, which responds fully to the themes of the ‘Modes of Capture’ symposium. Collaborating on a research project titled Body of Knowledge, dance artist/academics Sally Doughty, Lisa Kendall and Rachel Krische interrogate how the dancer can be considered as a living archive to generate new performance work. Please Do Touch is one outcome of this project. Conceived to be performed in gallery or museum spaces, it privileges ourselves as rich artefacts and challenges traditional notions of what an archive might be.
Please Do Touch aims to provoke the audiences’ personal memories as we recall and share our own histories through improvised movement, spoken and sung responses. We consider how embodied memory can be resonant and rich in history, and how active re-calling provokes the re-emergence of what was once ‘forgotten’ concurrently with the emergence of new configurations of embodied response/thinking to generate new performance. As Brian Massumi observes, ‘[our memories’] reactivation helps trigger a new event which continues the creative process from which they came, but in a new iteration’ (2016: 6) and thus our practice is conceived of as ‘an anarchive’ (Massumi 2016: 6). Please Do Touch opens up debate around the body as an archive: what it means to document/generate, re-call and re-configure our histories (in the now) and how transferable this thinking can be to a non-dancing body.



Body as Archive, Anarchive, Dance making, Embodied knowledge


DOUGHTY, S. et al. (2019) ‘Please Do Touch’, at Modes of Capture: The Capturing of Process in Contemporary Dance-Making conference. Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. 22nd June 2019.


Research Institute

Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies