a tap dance pas de deux


Touch is powerful. It heals sick and calms stressed people. It makes children grow faster and test persons be more honest, generous and prepared to take risks.

The sense of touch is a primal language that works independently of other communication channels – and can never be turned off.
However, haptics researchers attest to a chronic poverty of contact for our society. Virtual realities and hi-tech promote a world without skin. And often touch is also deliberately avoided. Not only since #metoo do we know of its dark side.

TOUCH explores the effects and semantics of physical contact in a sensitive, soft-footed, inquisitive duet that once again expands the stylistic boundaries of contemporary tap dancing.

Because traditionally, tap dance is also free of touch. True physical contact like in the pas de deux of classical ballet or the “partnering” in contemporary dance does not usually happen in tap. Until now.

Does tap dance work if movement lines interweave? If one is constantly touched? Constantly has somebody in the way?

TOUCH attempts a pas de deux of tap. Transparent, sensitive, wide awake.

tap dance unplugged -- the making of... TOUCH

Rehearsal photography by Jörg Singer:

Research at Staatstheater Darmstadt

Cast & Crew


Helen Duffy
Nik Kemeny


Sebastian Weber + Company

Choreography assistance

Michela Pesce


Gesa Volland und Sebastian Weber GbR in cooperation with
LOFFT — Das Theater

co-produced by Hessisches Staatsballett as part of Tanzplattform Rhein Main

Funded by

City of Leipzig, Kulturamt

Hessisches Staatsballett

Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen

Diese Maßnahme wird mitfinanziert durch Steuermittel auf der
Grundlage des vom Sächsischen Landtag beschlossenen Haushalts.

production details


30 minutes


2 dancers
1 assistant
1 technician (on demand)


minimum 8 x 6 m, black box, wood floor or black marley on wood floor.

Set-up and performance on the same day are possible.

tap dance pas de deux