Making (home) space for touch and connection in a social distancing world, choreographer Gabrielle Revlock offers an online workshop for pairs sharing intimate space during the COVID-19 quarantine. Restorative Contact begins with the understanding that touch is an important part of human development and wellbeing. It helps us to be present in the moment, in our bodies, and with the important people in our lives.
Dancer/Choreographer Gabrielle Revlock was just launching her new mindful movement practice when the COVID-19 quarantine went into action. “I thought to myself, wow, this is the worst possible timing to be trying to launch touch-positive workshops, ” said Revlock, “but after I went through a few days of grieving I realized that offering this online posed many positive features that I hadn’t considered.”
During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, Revlock is offering “Restorative Contact for Quarantine Buddies.” As the practice is strictly non-sexual, partners can be lovers, roommates, family members or any other people that find themselves in the same space during this unusual time. “People are starving for touch and I want to provide an outlet that is calming, grounding, and connecting without placing excess pressure on what it’s supposed to mean. It’s a practice in not only letting the body talk, but letting it be.”
In a Restorative Contact workshop, participants are guided by Revlock through 90 minutes of a mostly floor-based sequence of touch and weight-sharing, using various surfaces of the body. Many of us have been wired to associate touch with sexuality, romance or violence. Restorative Contact disentangles that pattern of thinking, returning awareness to the physical principles of touch: shape, weight, duration, texture and the way that all of these elements can affect one’s physical and emotional state over time.
In the online classes Revlock reminds students that they have the option to participate with their video on or off. “I’m reaching people who would have never felt comfortable coming to a yoga or dance studio. The privacy and the safety of being able to practice in your own home with a trusted person was an unforeseen benefit of our current situation.”
One of the goals of this practice is to achieve a state of deep relaxation, which has been shown to help with anxiety, insomnia, digestion, fertility and high blood pressure. The effects of touch are far-reaching, including emotional, physical, and cognitive wellbeing and improvement. Studies on the effects of touch indicate a boost in dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, the hormones associated with making people feel good, and lower cortisol levels which are associated with stress.
Restorative Contact is a beginner-friendly practice, offering couples (whether romantic or otherwise) an opportunity to discover fresh ways of connecting. “This is a time for experimentation. We’re all figuring out a new way to be together,” says Revlock. And for those quarantining alone, she also offers a weekly Solo Practice.
Gabrielle Revlock is a performer, choreographer, improviser and creator of Restorative Contact, a mindful touch-based movement practice. Her choreographic work depicts complicated but relatable interpersonal relationships, developed through meticulous character study and improvisational structures. Her performances have been presented across the USA, in Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Hungary, Russia and India and in NYC at venues including New York Live Arts, JACK, Joyce Soho, Gibney and CPR. Revlock has been awarded grants and fellowships from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Independence Foundation, FringeArts LAB, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance, Puffin Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Target Margin Theater Institute, American Dance Abroad and the US Department of State. In 2018 she was awarded ‘Newcomer of the Year’ by tanz, the German journal of ballet, dance, and performance. Choreographic residencies include Chez Bushwick, Painted Bride Art Center, Elizabeth Streb’s GO!, LiftOff, Dance Omi, Culture Mill in cooperation with American Dance Festival and New York Live Arts’ Fresh Tracks. As a dancer, she has performed for Lucinda Childs, Jane Comfort, jumatatu m. poe, Meg Foley, Mark Dendy, Susan Rethorst, Leah Stein, Christopher Williams, Vicky Shick, and Bill Young. Revlock holds a BA in Art History from Vassar College. She is a teacher of experimental hooping, contact improvisation and is a facilitator of the Brooklyn Contact Jam.
Wednesdays, 7-8:30pm EDT
Saturdays, 4-5:30pm EDT (except April 18, 9:30-11am)
Solo Practice: Fridays, 5-6pm EDT
REGISTRATION AND FEE INFORMATION
Investment: $5-35/person sliding scale
Quarantine Buddies: https://forms.gle/Xjv69dHeAuDW1PCGA
Solo Practice: https://forms.gle/brz2ePcmTqUqeg3Z9
Fee Guidelines: If you have not lost your income streams please pay at the normal rate you would pay for a workshop. If you have had a decrease in income please pay a subsidized rate commensurate with your loss.
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