Asheville Touch&Play

Touch & Play Asheville

Fertile Ground


April 12-15, 2018

Hosted by Kristen Chamberlin, Garrell Bevirt, Moti Zemelman, Michael Hurd, Julia Taylor & CJ O’Reilly

Intensive Teachers

Individual Class Teachers


Happening at:

Earthaven, EcoVillage

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

We will gather together for a mountain springtime experience at DANCING SHIVA, a Tantra monastery on the edge of the thriving and wonderful EARTHAVEN ECOVILLAGE deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside ASHEVILLE, North Carolina.

DANCING SHIVA is a retreat center and private residence, within EARTHAVEN, where communal living, permaculture, yoga, meditation and Tantra are the spiritual practices. Dancing Shiva is powered by the sun, nourished by nearby springs, protected and warmed by the forest and gifted with clean air and bright star filled nights.

EARTHAVEN is a 329 acre ecovillage in the biologically diverse mountain forests of Western North Carolina. There are about 80 residents in the village, living in a variety of wonderful structures, many built of natural materials. The entire village is off the grid and generates its own electricity. They use primarily composting toilets, there is NO cell service, and limited internet. The water is AMAZING. There is little to no light or sound pollution. Generating electricity from solar and micro-hydro systems means that large draw electrical appliances (like hair-dryers) aren’t appropriate.

Earthaven is an intentional community, a gathering of folks stewarding the land guided by the principles of Permaculture. Earthaven is an experiment in communal living with not only other humans but all creatures and plants present on the land. Walking through the village you will find earth-built homes, outdoor showers, children running free, streams and ponds, livestock, open building projects, secluded wooded tent sites and plenty of woods & wildlife.

ASHEVILLE, NC is a progressive city of about 90,000 people in the mountains of Western, NC known for its arts and culture. The Earthaven Ecovillage is about a 40 minute drive east of Asheville.

Fertile Ground

The upcoming (April 2018) Touch & Play-Asheville will explore the Fertile Ground cultivated in our lives and community when we embrace our primal nature –what it really means to be alive, free and connected. We build tools for conscious consent, courageous exploration and sensual, ecstatic play —with the idea that this just might be the most profound act of social change we can make in today’s world. The festival happens over four days, off-the-grid, in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina.

What is Touch & Play?

The Touch and Play Project is a movement emerging out of the International Contact Improv (CI) community, exploring beyond the traditional CI boundaries.

The Touch & Play Project started in Berlin, Germany in 2010 as an experiment in challenging traditionally held CI boundaries.  In the first festival, teachers of CI and a various other body-based practices, were invited to explore the ‘Chemistry in Contact’ by inviting participants’ to explore emotions, sexuality, aggression, politics and everything else traditionally kept out of the dance.

The success of the event reverberated through the European and N. American contact communities raising discussions on the boundaries of our practice and the perceived (un)safety of our attempts to exclude chemistry from our dances.

Successive T&P events have focused on the exploration of the ‘Edges of Contact’ by working one specific frontier (e.g. the Contact community, children & families, embodying intimacy) or by providing spaces where all edges are equally welcome. The T&P Project is run as a disseminated network of interested researchers, teachers and practitioners whereby any individual or group is encouraged to voice their own questions or concerns and to create a safe space to have them addressed in an authentic and playful manner.

Contact Improvisation continues to evolve. We invite you to be an active participant in its evolution.  When we create clarity around our verbal and non-verbal communication, it enhances our connections.  As we learn to articulate intentions, boundaries and desires in the dance more clearly & honestly, it deepens our capacity for authentic connection with ourselves, our partners and our community.


Cost (Sliding Scale)

Includes Vegetarian meals Thurs-Sun

We invite you to consider if you swim in a pond, lake or ocean, when it comes to finances, and choose accordingly.  Thanks! 

Indoor Dorm529609649
Indoor Private599709749

*Some Scholarships & Work Study Available (Inquire –

Arrival Details

T&P Asheville official start time 9:30am on Thursday April 12, 2018. Please plan to arrive Wed. April 11 anytime after 12pm. Participants are encouraged to arrive no later than 9am on Thursday April 12, 2018, in order to leave time for registration, settling in before opening circle.

After you have registered online, additional arrival information including directions, Wed. evening offerings, and a list of items to bring, will be sent to you.

Local airports and driving time to Earthaven: Asheville, NC 45min. Greenville/Spartanburg, SC 90min. Charlotte, NC 120min.

Please ride share if possible. More specific information on lodging will be forthcoming when registration opens on Feb 1st, 2018.

If you want to know more about Earthaven check out their website HERE 


Registration opens Feb 7

To Register click here to fill out the REGISTRATION FORM and p
ay in full by one of the following methods:

1. Paypal to:

2. Send Checks to: Julia Taylor, 50 Star Forest Rd, Black Mountain, NC 28711

3. Pay in Cash (Only available if you pay Julia Taylor or Kristen Chamberlin in person)

Your spot is not guaranteed until your payment is received


(Scroll left/right within the spreedsheet to see all days.  Scroll below to see links to classes & teachers

Your Hosts

Kristen Chamberlin, MS, LMT, SEP, is a Massage & Somatic Therapist, parent and dancer, with 25 years experience in private practice, retreat facilitation and training.  She directs the Somatic Center ( in Northampton, MA with a focus on embodied approaches to healing; stress related medical conditions, trauma and Intimacy and Body-Awareness issues, drawing on Somatic Experiencing, Massage, Mindfulness, Himalayan Tantra, Dance and Yoga.  She is core teaching faculty at Institute for Sexuality Education and Enlightenment, and is founder of Tantric Ground (, a local Tantra learning community based on a direct lineage from Northern India.

Moti Zemelman, MFA, began practicing Contact Improv 30 years ago. Over the past 22 years he has taught and performed across USA, Canada, Central America, Mexico, Europe and Israel. In 2008-09 he taught as Professor of Dance at the Instituto Naciónal de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Over the last 10 years in his desire to integrate communication and intimacy skills in his life and teaching he has studied Non-violent Communication, Tantra, Butoh, and Byron Katie’s “The Work”. Moti has been a teacher and a board member at Earthdance Retreat Center.  He was an original member of Wire Monkey Dance Co., (Holyoke, MA, USA) and is a featured dancer in Sanford Lewis’ documentary film about CI “An Intimate Dance.” As a musician Moti plays vocal-electronic music for Contact Jams and in 2007 released his debut CD, Doorwaves.  He also designs and moderates the international Contact Improv resource website

Garrell Bevirt is an artist, designer, dreamer and currently a student, practitioner, and teacher of yoga and tantra. For the last three years he has been immersed in a full time, live in tantra/yoga/meditation/permaculture mentorship with Swami Ravi Rudra Bharati (Rudolph Ballentine, MD), who himself underwent twenty years of intensive training with his own guru, Swami Rama. Garrell has lived in community at Kalani in Hawaii, Easton Mountain in Albany, NY and now resides in and oversees Dancing Shiva Ashram and Retreat Center in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He has co-facilitated workshops in Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii, North & South Carolina, and NY. Garrell is excited and privileged to be a part of helping shift consciousness through meditation, touch, connection, transformation and love.

Julia Taylor is an artist, dancer and performer. Long time contact improviser, she lead movement and contact improvisation classes and jams for many years in Asheville. Her dance is informed by Butoh dance, authentic movement, ritual and connection with nature. No matter the medium, her art is rooted in the powerfully feminine, untamed, and emotive Body, and emphasizes the mysteriousness of womanhood, sensuality, and the primal sides of the psyche. Since moving with her husband and two young children to Earthaven in the summer of 2015, she has been dedicated to cultivating a vibrant culture of art and dance and ceremony within the community.

Michael Hurd  is writing this biography (even THIS sentence) in the third person, because he thinks you’ll think he’s cool if you think someone else wrote his bio. He’s been doing contact Improv for 20 years and he still hasn’t done it right (or wrong). Along the way, he did 8 years residential Zen training, 4 months residential yoga training, got a Masters in Counseling and became an SEP (Somatic Experiencing Practitioner). He’s been practicing therapy for 5 years and has been a licensed General Contractor for 10 years. He first encountered NVC (Non-Violent Communication) almost two decades ago and still manages to put his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. He’s been facilitating and DJ’ing for ecstatic dances for 7 years, and He is NOT funny but if you picture him with horns he kinda looks like Pan.


CJ O’Reilly is a lifelong movement practitioner, a linguist, and passionate philosopher of life whose practice in life is an exploration of movement, food, language and relationship with a mind to bridge the gap between his experience of the world and his ideas and desires about it. His movement background spans internal and external martial arts, body-weight training and conditioning, acrobatics, yoga, and dance. He regularly teaches, facilitates and explores CI, Partner dance, language, and more. The rest of his time is usually spent organizing, working or facilitating for communities including the Asheville Movement Collective, Asheville Poly(amory) Network, Asheville Jam, Living Arts Collective & Durham Dance Wave (Durham), as well as other local residential communities and passion driven collaborative socially or ecologically progressive businesses.


INFO: E-mail Kristen: 


Countdown to Playtime!