Response to the Archive: Nostalgia (longing) by María José Rodríguez-Torrado

Nostalgia (longing)
Created, Performed and Filmed by María José Rodríguez-Torrado
Edited by Mara Ahmed
Music by Frédéric Chopin (Source:
Responding to Roberta Schwartz’s ‘It’s About the Touch’ and Kirin Makker’s ‘Touch’
Instagram: @maria_jose27

The stories I chose as inspiration for the movement phrase in this piece are ‘It’s About The Touch’ by Roberta Schwartz and ‘Touch,’ a response to the archive by Kirin Makker.

I identified with what Schwartz and Makker wrote about the fundamental nature of human touch. As a dancer, touch is especially important to me. I can use it as a tool to give me information about the space I’m in and it allows me to create a deeper bond with myself and with the people I am dancing with.

Human beings are wired for physical contact. I transmit love to family members through a hug, I high-five friends when we accomplish something together, I use kinesthetic feedback when teaching young dancers ballet arm positions. I had the opportunity to be part of a Contact Improvisation workshop once, where I joined a couple of strangers to learn about this technique where touch is not only given but is necessary to build trust and share body weight among participants. That class will always be memorable for me because, without really knowing each other, we found a connection that made us feel like we were destined to be together.

The pandemic has forced us to adopt new lifestyles and submit to new restrictions. It has made me more aware of the significance of touch and memories created through touch. For this movement phrase, I wanted to explore the relationship between touch and memory and express how, through movement, I can continue developing connections even in the absence of physical touch.

[Arecibo, Puerto Rico]

Headshot by Matt Wittmeyer
All audio, video, text and images are under copyright © Neelum Films LLC

Leave a comment