Unfortunately, when you are acquiring a partner, it feels a little medieval. Someone else usually picks who you are going to have some of the most intimate moments with without your (real) consent. Honestly, you probably know your partner, but the first time you lay your hands on each other, it feels like you are slowly violating someone while simultaneously being violated yourself.
So, now you have this person? How do you make it look like you two have great adoration for each other? How do you feel strong emotions for one another onstage? How do you trust not to be dropped, or that she’ll hold her center?
When you first start to partner, ask permission. Even though you are going to do what you’re told, it is a lovely gesture, and it starts the trust process. Men, communicate with your partner that if you don’t feel like something is safe, or if it feels funny, that you’d like to walk through it first or put her down. Women, before a new lift, ask where you’ll feel your center. The worst thing you can do is hold yourself into the lift and then if you feel like you’re falling off center, to break it and try to get down. You can hurt yourself and him. If you are going to fall, let him try to catch you. AND it is easier to catch a board than it is to catch a bag of cat litter.
Start with just hugging each other before each rehearsal, so that you’re comfortable in each other’s space.
Chemistry? Well, if you get the choice to pick a partner (or after a year or so of being with the same one), you feel when the other person is ill, weak, or emotionally broken. Once you can feel in the body of your partner how they are feeling, you know then that you two have chemistry on stage.