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It is no secret; the natural world is becoming more and more absent in the growing urban landscapes.  Our conversation with Tobias is a simple reminder that connection with ourselves is urgent, that we cannot skip the body, and that time close to nature helps us to reconnect with ourselves which will in turn make room to connect authentically with each other. 

This is a transcribe of our conversation, originally part of ROOM 2022.


“This video came from a desire to work with nature.

I wanted to work with connecting to nature again”



“If you’re not connected to yourself how do you connect to other people?”



Tobias Sköld

recorded 19.11.2021 

How did 'A Light Touch' come about?

Well, to start, this, this project ROOM was, like, the reason why I made the video. But the video comes from a desire to work with nature. I had another, or I tried to get another residence in Stockholm and I wanted to work with connecting to nature again, with me. And, because throughout this period of pandemic I've found that going back to nature and just also not having dance studios, just like, needing somewhere to move, being outside, has really like connected me to myself, which is super interesting. And also I've been taking, like long walks and doing Wim Hof breathing meditations and cold baths and stuff. And that has really helped my, like, my psyche.

Connecting to nature

I feel like it’s about organic matter. And like, everything is alive. They just have, for example, trees, they just have a longer lifespan. And the move, and they grow different from where they like… Depending on where they grew up they look different and they are built different. And, specifically, trees, they feel also very reliable. Like when I grew up you got this pamphlet. And this is like, “What do you do when you get lost in the woods?” One of the things is hugging a tree. And it's like, why? I think it's something with like, feeling secure, or like safe. And I think that is one of the things that connect me if I hug a tree, that I feel like, okay, now, I'm safe or more safe. 

And in nature, everything is (I wrote it down) like everything is alive. Like, sure, if I go to Stockholm everything is alive. Like there's so much movement, so so many inputs. And in nature, there's so many inputs also, but they're working in different ways. They're not like disrupting each other. And I think that's helpful of finding like a flow inside. 

Connection with others

It's not the last step, the next step is to connect to your peers, other people. It's like, I keep thinking about this, this thing that people say that you can’t love someone until you love yourself. I  feel like that's the same same kind of thing - if you're not connected to yourself, like how do you connect to other people? 

I think meaningful connections are … they come up when, when you when you connect to someone that tries to connect. It doesn't have to always be successful, but as long as people try to connect to each other and understand and help, I feel like that's, that's the meaningful connection. It made me think of - do you know “passing through” the dance technique? A bunch of people can like running in circles or like, a lot of people, and they avoid to..well they don't avoid to hit each other, sometimes it happens, but you're trying to harmonise with each other. So if you if you accidentally bump you maybe go to the ground, or you do a turn. And I've been thinking many times, if like, what if everyone knew how to work with that, like working with the peripheral vision and seeing everyone, and connecting. Not necessarily touch or like, see, or like meet everyone. But like, in the city, a bunch of people are walking, and they, everyone is seeing each other. I think that will make a big difference of community. 

Tell us about your current movement practice?

We're also in the process of making different workshops. And one of the workshops are supposed to be about partnering and different kinds of connections. Specifically, Movement Stockholm, it's, based on Ido Portal’s movement culture. And, so it's very physical. And it's, it's, for me, it's more towards sustaining a dancing body and less about dancing or about creativity. So that's, hopefully I can bring a little bit about the philosophical part of dance into the workshop too. 

What he, what the practice and what he has brought to my life is a group to connect with. And I also felt during the, or general, like leaving school, not having the same people to move around with has been very helpful and important. Yeah, it's been helpful to be working with him. 

It's very clear when someone is there, because they think they have to, but they maybe don't want to. And that creates a disconnect. And disrupts like, the whole energy in the room a bit. Moving together in any way creates connections, I think. 

Connecting to strangers

I would have wished to work with random people I didn't know. So like, going up to someone in the subway, and like “Can you do this small movement for me? We can do it at the same time or something.”  So I wanted to make that a bigger part of the the concept of like connecting to random people that you don't know that you're connecting, because you're in the same spot and you're going somewhere. 

Stockholm is… I mean, some people look and some people try to ignore to not be a bother, or I don't know… I do believe it's a little bit of that specifically, like, yeah, sure, Swedish culture. But I feel like specifically Stockholm has this “mind your own business” thing. You don't want to draw attention, or if you see, see someone getting attention or drawing attention, you are like walking the other way. 

I grew up around nature. I grew up in Rosersberg, which is like a small suburb, a lot of forest and woods. And I am also like an old, like from from six years old I'm a scout. So like going outside, being in nature, it's very… I’ve always done that. And so I feel like that's a part of me. And I feel like also, being more in Stockholm, like more in the inner city, doing dancing and working… it’s, it's for me about the disconnect of being around so many people, but that you don't really connect with, especially if you're, you're tired, you’re on the subway, you're on your phone… Like that's where it comes from that I wanted to connect again. And it's definitely from like… Nature is where I come back to who I've always been.