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Tour of Touch

The "Tour of Touch" is a ritualized journey in which audience members are guided into fuller states of perception of themselves and each other. Just as wilderness guides clear paths through jungle thicket, the X-plicit Players clear paths through the dressed body and the repressed psyche into shared communion with each other's unveiled body and the raw forces of their human nature.

The Players practice disciplines of slowing down their own inner time, "reading" messages from each others' energy bodies, and opening chakras within each other before taking audiences into states of ecstasy, vulnerability and trance. The audience is treated gently, clearly and with strong attention while invited by poetry, soundscape, touch and direct request to personally join into the "group body" ritual.

Audience members are first brought into simple familiar physical contact, hand holding, sitting together, simple embraces, while asked to place their attention on the web of feeling connecting them. Slowly, each audience member is asked to focus on aspects of each others' inner worlds, like the sound of heartbeat made audible by a heart microphone placed on one person at a time. We pay homage to this person's body by a laying on of hands while hearing their heart and watching them closely.

Often didgeridoo sounds become a vehicle for delivering audience members into a womb-like place of trance where water sounds and breath sounds combine to increase an awareness of nature's forces. Individuals are asked to peel off clothing to let the air touch their skins, while cast members move around immersing them in a sea of touches, acclimating the audience to the many touches that are always surrounding us.

During the next phase of the performance, audience members are placed in deeper embrace with members of the cast and with each other. Audience members are strictly directed to set aside the socially defined ways of contacting naked bodies to discover an alternative function of touch, that is, to avoid genital focus and sexual intent, in order to be together in a new way.

We ask that body parts be touched to truly know and read messages from the energy currents that each specific part of the body sends out. For example arms that have rocked infants send out different energies than arms that have dug into ground or hammered nails.

"Body Reading" is a psychic ability known to us since birth and yet re-accessed during the event, as audience members are "taught" to know what they are feeling from one another. Often, one of the cast members will "read" aloud, through a microphone, the psychic messages that come pouring through the closely held body of an audience member taken into close observation. This encourages each audience member to truly dig deeply into the unknown and unrealized parts of each other's minds and bodies to come out with a deepened sense of each other.

The third phase of the event brings those who are familiar to one another into connection with the energies that move through newcomers to their midst. Two people are sent into new depths of feeling when gently ushered around the room by a third or fourth person. We learn to keep "reading" the inner forces of newcomers as well as to be physically led into their very specific kind of body motion. This draws each individual into a sensing of the entire group.

We absorb many beings into our sense of self for long moments before leaving the performance "group body". Sometimes we do a "dreaming" where, like the tribal aborigines, we envision our future journey with each other. Any number of other rituals have often been added to bring the audience into deeper states of relationship with each other, with tree and land nature, and of course with other humans we find along the road.


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