Continuing Improvisation Research for 2014/2015

Dear all,

we are looking back at another year of intriguing little projects and great investigations in interdisciplinary improvisation.

As always towards the summer I am asking what your ideas and wishes would be for next season, projecting forward your intentions to open new area’s of improvisation or revisit and deepen some of the existing lines of research.

So please let me know about your intentions to stay connected to this platform also in the coming year.
(read the three questions below)

Just to first give you an overview of the things that came by and got re-worked in the last two seasons by you and others:

Interlocking Principles (Balinese kecak rhythms as common ground for improvising interdisciplinary)

Objects and Stuff (object theatre, props and puppetry in improvisation)

Shadow Carpet (using shadow theatre in improvisation)

Structured Improvisation (improvisation scores, plots and structures and what they conjure up)

The dreamer and the observer (two aspects/attitudes/archetypes of the interdisciplinary improviser)

Time and Duration (taking time, losing time, using time in improvisation performance)

Games of Interaction (the world of rule-creating and rule-following in improvisation games)

What’s whispering (listening to the more subtle layers of reality while improvising)

The secret Life of Phrases (phrasing in improvised music, phrasing in improvised dance)

(Dis)connecting the dots (actors/dancers/musicians and the question of ‘readability’ and ‘meaning’)


So what are we picking up for next season? What will be new land to explore?

There will probably be more research into Phrasing and (Dis)connecting the dots by the respective research groups. Next to this, Bettina Neuhaus and Kenzo Kusuda have already announced that they would like to pose their questions about improvised performance inside a Carpet Session context next season.

As every year we have to decide whether to keep our rental of the Vredenburgerstudio going, and whether we want to keep it on the Thursday afternoons (13:00-17:00). Subject to availability, other slots (morning/evening/other day in the week) are possible, but we have to set it for a whole season. We had a small group of studio sharers who also used the studio for their own things and with this helped to pay the yearly rental costs. This arrangement worked well to keep this fine studio in the centre of Amsterdam.

So my concrete questions to all of you connected improvisers:

1. Would you like to use the Carpet Sessions next season to open up a research question on a particular improvisation/interdisciplinarity aspect that intrigues you? (be a session leader – alone or in collaboration with others)

2. Even if you are not able to work with us in Amsterdam, would you like to contribute to the Improvisation Knowledge Base here on this website with your considerations about the improvisation work you are doing in your own city?

3. Are you interested to support this platform by becoming a ‘carpet studio sharer’? (if you do, you can join all research sessions for free AND you can use the studio for your own projects when it is not used for a Carpet Session)

And last not least, even if any of the above is not for you, but you enjoyed to participate in other people’s sessions and you are looking forward to contribute to the research simply with your presence in the future, it would be lovely if you leave us a small note.

Suggestions how to do things differently, critique as well as praise is all very welcome!

Let me know by either commenting below, or if you like to communicate directly and more privately, let me know personally through any channel you know, or use the Contact Page here.

All the best and have a great summer!

Thomas Johannsen



5 thoughts on “Continuing Improvisation Research for 2014/2015

  1. Hi Thomas,

    First, I appreciate all the effort and energy you put in to make this platform
    going on.
    I am interested to lead a session in the next season in collaboration with a fellow artist from other discipline.
    I would like as well to share my observations in the Impro Knowledge Base.

    All the best,

  2. hello….. Only a few weeks ago I moved back to Amsterdam. I am very interested in Instant Composition. That’s my practice. And that’s what I want to continue to develop. Carpet Sessions is an amazing platform for that. I was very glad to be part of the two research groups of the Phrases and (Dis)Connecting the Dots. And I am truly curious to continue these. And I am also curious how I can also be more active in it concerning setting up own researches.

    Yes I am interested in leading/organizing own researches next season.
    My intuition says keep it on Thursdays. When you move it around too much, it gets confusing. There are always people for who it is not convenient. Go for continuation and stability. For my Thursdays are perfect.
    What does it mean to become a Carpet Studio Sharer?? You share the monthly costs?? How much is it? Or when you facilitate a Carpet Session you become automatically a Sharer? Curious to hear more about that.

    1. hi Johnny,

      thanks for your words! 🙂

      To answer your question about the Carpet Studio Sharers, as others might be curious, too:

      It is not connected to facilitating sessions, it is simply a financial sharing arrangement. I’ll explain.

      We have two ways to make up for the yearly costs (which are: about 650,- Euro purely to have the studio available every Thursday. Next to this we pay per person when the studio is used by more than 4 people at the same time).
      We cover these costs by:
      1. collecting 5 euro p.p. when there is a Carpet Session happening
      2. having a small group of ‘Carpet Studio Sharers’: people who pay a yearly amount for the ability to use the studio themselves when it is not used for a Carpet Session. The exact amount depends on the number of people who share (more people, less costs). This season we had a group of five people, which was a good size for sharing.

      If you are interested, let me know and I’ll include you in setting it up for next season, once I heard from everybody.

      greetings! Thomas

  3. Hi Thomas,
    As you already know, I also want to be part of the improvisation platform. I would love to have the chance to participate into any of the research groups that might start again working next year.
    I do have an issue with Thursdays afternoon, since I work until 17:00, but for a coupleof times I could possible make an exception.

    So, yes, please keep me posted!

    Warm greetings,


  4. Hi Thomas, as we discussed, i too would like to join in the Here&Now foundation, by contributing financially and by leading sessions. I would like to start with a series of 6 gatherings between september- november, researching the balance between solo- and groupdiscipline in improvisation. How to contribute to the improvisation as a part of the ensemble and as a solist. More announcements about this later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s