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Jersey City Theater Center in Collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute, NY Presents "Skin Hunger"

originally published: 03/13/2023

Jersey City Theater Center in Collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute, NY Presents "Skin Hunger"

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Jersey City Theater Center presents Skin Hunger, dance theatre experience The interactions are full of mystery. The roles of the performers change with the songs and the audience follows them. Beautiful duets, dynamic group scenes, intimate interactions and energetic contacts. Everything is there and invites the audience to the sensual world. Touch makes more sense if it connects. Skin Hunger is an international collaboration between renowned choreographer Joe Alter and Polish artists - a collective formed for the purpose of the performance. This event is co-presented by Jersey City Theater Center in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute NY.

Skin Hunger will premiere at Jersey City Theater Center (165 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302 / Entrance from Barrow St., Jersey City, NJ, 07302) on Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7:30pm. Free with $10 service fee and are available at

As living beings, we are all connected to touch. From the moment we are born, we learn that touch is the key to building relationships with others and, thus, also with ourselves. It is the link. A newborn baby is placed directly on its mother's body, skin to skin. Touch gives life. It is inscribed in our nervous system as a condition of survival - just like movement. Every stage of daily life is filled with gesture, effort, and action.

Jersey City Theater Center in Collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute, NY Presents "Skin Hunger"

Touch releases the hormones oxytocin (the "love hormone"), serotonin and dopamine ("happiness neurotransmitters"), reduces stress, eliminates feelings of social exclusion, calms heart rate and blood pressure, and provides a sense of security and comfort, and pleasure. "SKIN HUNGER" - "hunger for touch" - is a term used by psychotherapists to describe the result of long-term lack of physical contact, leading consequently to loss of health: weakened immune system, sleep disorders, frustration, anxiety, and depression. Touch is the primary way we communicate our needs.

Regardless of age, lack of touch is devastating. The performance addresses this problem and initiates a discussion. We are looking for an answer to the question: how to deal with the lack of closeness in today's world? How far are we away, cut off, distanced? How much do we crave contact? The body knows. The body remembers. How do we take a step back to hear the inner voice - the primal CALL? How do we return to nature - to the roots, trust the power of intuition? It is a laboratory of the need for touch and the human condition in everyday life, where we become disconnected from ourselves. 

About the Choreographer: Joe Alter has been an active dancer, choreographer, and teacher in the field of contemporary dance for over 40 years. He received his Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University with an emphasis on choreography and dance technology. As artistic director of the Joe Alter Dance Group, his works have been performed at The Kitchen, The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, the 92nd St. Y, Harkness Center for Dance in New York City, throughout San Diego, and internationally in Mexico, Germany, Poland, and Serbia. In collaboration with international partners, Prof. Alter created the Polish Project, a regional outreach program designed to investigate the creative process with disadvantaged youth throughout Poland. He has been a Professor of Dance at San Diego State University since 2005.

Mr. Alter has taught at numerous festivals throughout East-Central Europe and was a guest faculty member at the Frederick Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. His research interests include digital technologies as applied to dance, dance pedagogy in higher education, social systems theory, somatic and contemplative practices and the continuous investigation of the human condition through movement and choreographic structure. Works include “The End is the Beginning” for Tijuana’s Lux Boreal, “Everything Slips Away” for PWST in Krakow, Poland, “Passing Through”, a site-specific work commissioned by Trolley Dances San Diego as well as the commissioned work “If/Then” which premiered in Poland in November of 2019. As part of SDSUs ArtsAlive, Prof. Alter worked with Physics Professor Arlette Baljon on a course which encouraged collaborative learning between Dance and STEM students.

Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about important issues of our times through the arts. Co-founded by Executive Producer Olga Levina, an immigrant from Belarus, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) produces and presents universal yet locally relevant works, emphasizing social justice and human rights.  Since 2006, JCTC has provided a platform for all artistic voices to be heard in Jersey City, with the aim of sparking meaningful cross-cultural dialogue that helps build a greater understanding, mutual respect and better communities in New Jersey. 

Programming made possible by numerous supporters, including the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Hudson County, the City of Jersey City, and the Office of Cultural Affairs. For those who are interested in attending any of the performances, sponsoring any of the upcoming productions, or purchasing tickets for large groups, please email

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