The secret Life of Phrases


The secret Life of Phrases
An investigation into Voice and Movement

A musical phrase, just as a movement phrase are the DNA of any music/dance improvisation performance. They are building blocks, that combined create more complex structures of dance, composition, story…

And what are phrases themselves made of? Sounds, tones, rhythmical relationships in music, and for physical performers: smaller pieces of movements and the way they are pieced together in tension and timing.

Vocal Performers and Dancers lean into each others’ discipline quite often. As for a dancer the use of voice can be seen as just another layer of playing with the body as an instrument, while for a singer the way the voice is affecting the body (and vice versa) is an always present aspect of musical performance.

Working with phrasing means working on a higher level than just producing sounds or movement, which is to say that in instant composition performance, working with your voice or your body cannot simply stay a side-effect of your other, main register in which you improvise. Phrasing means articulating sound or movement in such a way that it takes on a full sense of language as we create.

We have two research questions to approach this subject of interdisciplinarity:

How to integrate voice and movement as an improvisation performer?

On individual level, how can the two registers/languages of voice and movement inform, stimulate and challenge each other in an articulated way? How can the two integrate towards one language?

How to integrate voice/sound and movement as an improvisation ensemble?

In an ensemble with dancers as well as singers, how can we integrate voice and movement into that “one language” that the ensemble speaks?

Marisa Grande and Thomas Johannsen want to combine their experience in order to explore these questions from both sides of the range. While being both multidisciplinary improvisers, Thomas leans probably a bit more towards musicianship through his vocal improvisation work with the Genetic Choir, Marisa comes slightly more from the perspective of movement improvisation through her somatic dance practice.

In the project that we propose, we would like to work with a small group of core-researchers: 4 improvisation singers / 4 improvisation dancers. At the same time, we will open up the research to any other improvisers who are interested to meet the research group and play together on two occasions: the IC practice+performance at Dansmakers.

The whole project is made of 2 Saturdays (open IC practice+performance), and in between 4 afternoons of research in the Carpet studio. Closing the project will be a performance at The Boiler Room in Utrecht and maybe other public gigs that will appear by that time.

Saturday 22 February – IC practice and performance at Dansmakers (16:30-20:00) – practice and performance open to all improvisers
Thursday 6, 13, 20, 27 March – research sessions in the Carpet studio – research ensemble only (14:00-17:00)
Saturday 29 March – IC practice and performance at Dansmakers (16:30-20:00) – practice session open to all / performance will be done by the research ensemble
Sunday 30 March (to be confirmed) – Performance in Het Huis Utrecht, in the Boiler Room series

The Carpet Sessions know a studio-costs share of 5 euro p.p. per session. Read more about the Carpet Sessions here.
The IC Practice on Saturdays knows a contribution of 15 euro p.p. per session to share the (higher) costs of the Dansmakers space. For this particular collaboration with the Carpet Research it will be 7,50 for the core group members to compensate for their bigger commitment.
(the money is solely to cover costs and any possible surplus will go to supporting the respective initiatives)

The project is a collaboration between the Genetic Choir, the Carpet Research and the monthly IC Practice in Amsterdam that has been initiated by Iris van Peppen and Marisa Grande.

As with all Carpet Research sessions, we are looking for performers with artistic maturity and capacity to contribute to the unfolding process from their own practice.

Please respond if you either just would like to be part of the process on one or both of the Saturdays, or if you would be interested to join the core group on all the dates and performances. We will select the core group to create an interesting mix of individuals.

Don’t hesitate to tell us you are interested, even if you still have date-issues to solve. Let us know and we will get in contact with you.

We are awaiting your reactions until 31st of December and will announce the research ensemble shortly afterwards.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Marisa & Thomas

17 thoughts on “The secret Life of Phrases

  1. Hi Marisa, I have been following this group for some time but sofar have not joined any of the sessions. I participated in the Genetic Choir for one season and pursued other improvisation work before and after that. Spend some years into training of jazzmusic as a singer, worked with Maria Fernandez who does bodywork in the style of Rou Hart and did an intensive training with Linda Wise from the Roy Hart Theater. In the meantime I have set up my own improvisation sessios and give workshops. Love dancing and did a lot so in former years and now I am exploring voice and soundsscapes. I am interested to work with you in the small setting and if not I could only join the larger grop settings. let me know and warm greetings to you from Jessica Erdtsieck

  2. Hi Marisa, great project. I’d love to participate (as a vocalist) and am available for all dates. Hope to see you for this project or – if not – somewhere else! Alexandra de Groot

  3. Dear Thomas and Marisa,

    I just read your idea and proposal. I find them very interesting. The format/structure of the project works for me as well.
    Short but intense working period and sharing/showing right afterwards.
    Continuity, comittment and a “tight schedule’ keep my awareness and perception fresh. I think also that this way of working gives a kind of ’roundness’ to the project.

    I am interested to join the project.

    There is a time problem as on Thursdays I will be giving dancelessons to children on the same time. I am planning to arrange it.

    I am glad to hear from you
    Warm greetings

  4. Great theme! and also a theme that often appears in my work. would love to join, available on all dates so far. Looking forward to more carpet sessions…



  5. Hi Marisa and Thomas, i would love to join and i am available for all dates! Wonderfull you set this up, looking forward to work together…if there’s some place left. I’m slightly more a muscian but for certain i’m a mover aswell. It’s totally the right moment to let them work more closely together 🙂 warm greetings, Moira

  6. Hi Thomas and Marisa,
    This sounds like a wonderful project, which I would love to be a part off. I am available for all dates and allthough I am mainly a singer I would also love to be a part of the moving.
    Kind regards Marjolijn

  7. wonderful project! in my own work i work with voice and movement as well…. unfortunately i am not available for all dates. (not 20th and not 29th of march). but i would love to join the 22nd of february. warm greetings, Anita

  8. Hi Thomas and Marisa! Glad to see this proposition! I would be very glad to participate!! I am available for all mentioned times! ? / Thomas: we have missed the coffee and me giving the rent to you!!!!!! /

  9. Thanks, Everybody who reacted! We are in the middle of defining the core researchers for the project and will let you know in a few days. And by the way, Happy New Year! 😀

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