"Touch Wood" can't help but make us think of that charming metaphor "touching cloth". Childish, we know, but considering it's meant to be a direct and reference to a superstitious gesture intended to ensure whatever you've just been talking about doesn't go tits up, perhaps the subtext is also appropriate for those with anxious dispositions.
Touch Wood is a season of brand new dance, most of which hasn't been created at the time of writing even though the season opens next Tuesday. Naked ideas on a bare wood stage, apparently. We barely know who's going to be performing. Either the ethos is truly last minute, ad hoc, by the seat of your pants unpredictable stuff or the Place programming team's had all summer off and not quite got their arses in gear for autumn.
Either way, it is super exciting that one of the confirmed artists to participate will be Probe; a partnership between Antonia Grove and Theo Clinkard who are young, sexy and unfeasibly talented dancers who have danced with and for the coolest dance companies and choreographers around as well as pursuing their own creative interests and doing their own funky thing (expect to hear more about these guys later in the year).
We're also promised stuff from a whole raft of upthrusting performers and emerging choreographers including several Place Prize artists and the much-hyped Hofesh Shecter who must surely be finding it difficult to concentrate on this when he's due to present the biggest show of his life at the end of the month when "In Your Rooms" makes it to Sadlers Wells.
Basically, we have no idea what will happen at any of the nights, neither do the Place and we're not even sure the artists do either. This will definitely produce some hit and miss programmes but as with all radical contemporary dance, you've got to suck it and see to find the true gems. We're keen. And The Place has a nice bar and plenty of intervals.
By the way, the featured nudity is metaphoric rather than promised. Although, as no one knows what's going to happen, it might be actual. You have been warned.
Touch Wood opens at The Place, near Euston, on 11 September at 8pm and runs sporadically till 6 October. Artists have yet to be announced on many dates. Check The Place website and/or register for email updates about the programme. Tickets cost £5-£15, book online or call the Box Office on 020 7121 1100.
Image by Shaun Webb courtesy of The Place.