(Dis)connecting the dots II – Bridging music/dance/theatre in Improvisation

UPDATE: the here described sessions resulted in this extensive article that talks about the work and the main issues we encountered.
In May last year we had the first edition of “(Dis)connecting the dots”: Looking at the trinity theatre/dance/music in improvisation performance with the question how each discipline differs in their audience’s expectations and their reading of a piece. Questions from the different audience perspectives were:
  • What do I enjoy about an improvisation performance or concert?
  • Does it have to make sense for me in order to enjoy it?
  • In which way does it have to make sense? A pure concert usually ‘makes sense’ in a different way than a theatre play or a dance performance does. So how does this work for interdisciplinary performance?
From the makers/performers perspective, we posed the following, related question:
  • How concrete and readable should our work be? What should be left unexplained – how opaque, many-layered, confusing or abstract do we like it?
connecting_dots2_pusteblumen_grey_light3Any artist wants his work to be readable to a certain extent, in the sense that it somehow ’speaks’ to the audience. And at the same time, any piece needs a certain obscurity, leaving something for the audience to wonder about. Also music can be more or less ‘accessible’ in this way.
Genres in all disciplines differ on how to concretely measure this mix of readability and opaqueness.
As Interdisciplinary Instant Composition wants to be inclusive to all genres and differing perceptions of art, our question is: How can we improvise, talk and play around this topic of ‘readability’ effectively?
We want to continue our research with a series of five Carpet Sessions in May/June 2015:
7 May
14 May
21 May  including showing/Q&A at the end
28 May
4 June    including sharing/performing with other improvisers in an open Carpet Session
There is a core group of actors/dancers/musicians who will work together on these Thursdays and there are two moments on which we would like to open up the work to all professionals interested in joining us:
21 May 2015: after 15:30, we invite you to join us in the studio as reflecting audience. We are very interested in your feedback to inform the rest of the research.
4 June 2015 (13:00-17:00): an open Carpet session where we will share our findings in an inclusive performance session. (meaning: any improvising colleagues from our network are welcome to work/play with us & reflect throughout the whole session. Let’s have a ball with it!  🙂
Please announce yourself if you would like to come on either 21 May or 4 June by writing a comment to this blogpost (below).
For 4 June, guest performers contribute the usual 5,- p.p. Carpet donation for helping to keep the studio open all year for improvisation research.
We had the first two session with the core group. Such a bliss to be among such knowledgeable people! Many are multi-disciplinary, but for the interest of this research, each of us works in first instance from one discipline:
James Hewitt
Bernt Nellen
Wouter Snoei
Tanaquil Schuttel
Zwaan de Vries
Anja Boorsma
Esmeralda Detmers
Jurriaan Kamp
Edgard Geurink
Maria Michailidou
Annabel Garriga
Stefania Petr
Thomas Johannsen

This second edition of (Dis)connecting the dots is supported with a small subsidy by allimprov (many thanks to there!), which will mean you will find traces of this research soon as part of the Improvisation Knowledge Base: improvisation.wiki


19 thoughts on “(Dis)connecting the dots II – Bridging music/dance/theatre in Improvisation

  1. Hi Carpet team. reading this post I immediately wished to apply for all the dates mentioned. But what do I have to contribute, except me? I have no category for myself. I’m not a dancer anymore, although I do dance most of the time. I’m not an actress anymore, although , I’m acting quite a lot of the time. I define myself nowadays as a voice-performer and teacher. ( Roy Hart Theatre Voice teacher). I have my roots in various disciplines. But now I’m getting older and had to overcome physical problems, I had to create a new category for myself. Did not find it yet. Thomas knows me and I allow him to give information about me, if needed. Because if there still is the possibility, I would love to take part in the whole serie of afternoons if you think I can support your search.. The research you are doing is almost identical to mine. Please let me know if there is still the space for another dancer/actress/voice person or…… how you would mention me. I have to make space in my time schedule, so I would like to know soon.

    If not I really wish to come on the 21 of may and 4 of june. At what time do you start and finsh on the other dates.

    May be it is nice to know that I’m performing ‘Polish and Shine’ together with a Trombonist and en Fagotist on 19 of april at 19.45 in De Melkweg, Theaterzaal in Amsterdam in the festival INDOMANIA. http://www.indomania.nl/#home

    Hope to hear from you, wish you good and creative times together,

    Vriendelijke groeten van Zwaan

    ‘Instemmen met jezelf’ Zwaan de Vries stemdocent, theatermaker Certified Roy Hart Theatre Teacher Docent Dansexpressie *Van Gentstraat 12a,* *6524BC Nijmegen*

    *+31(0)24 3231252+31(0) 6 50216275*

    1. Hi Zwaan, thanks for your enthousiasm! I will talk to the core group about it and will get back to you. In any case, it would be fabulous to have you to watch on 21st of May and to play with us on 4th of June! For the other dates, you will hear from me. xThomas

  2. Hello,

    I’m a Trombone Player and I’d like to partecipate to the 4 June event.


    1. Hi Deborah, great that you want to come. On 21st May half the session is indeed closed and we invite at 15:30 to share what we have done so far with you and other improvisers, and appreciate your feedback.
      On 4 June, the whole session (1-5pm) is open for any professionals to also actively join the work in an open Carpet Session.

      Looking forward to seeing you!


  3. Hello Carpeters, I am a theatermaker and teacher and I am currently planning on starting an interdisciplinary improvistionlab myself. And then was pointed to your work. It sounds very interesting to me and I would like to come and watch on 21 may to get in touch. Would that be alright?

  4. Reblogged this on Genetic Choir and commented:

    Two Genetic Choir singers are part of this interdisciplinary research project on Thursday afternoons in the centre of Amsterdam.

    Come and join us to give us your feedback as audience on 21 May, or to join the research as improviser on 4th of June!

  5. hello Carpet team,
    would love to join in the 4th of June session.
    I’m an actress in ‘Shakespeare’s Women’ and a theatre-improv. teacher.
    I joined in your workshop at the Impro- Amsterdam festival in January
    and wanting to come back ever since!!!

    1. Hi Adda, you are certainly welcome! Just to prevent confusion let it be said that the Genetic Choir (which was the workshop you joined) is something entirely different from the Carpet Sessions. The connection is merely that I am the facilitator for this particular research and another Genetic Choir singer is involved as well. 🙂
      Anyway, great to have you in the session on 4th of June, with your theatre improv background!

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