Writing on Improvisation II

calvin-writing

Some thoughts for the session next week, on 10 September 2015 (13:00-17:00)

Let us know if you would like to join us!

Our aims of writing on improvisation can be manifold. From quite close to us: for our own reflection, or to develop the understanding of what we are doing together with the people we are working with at that moment, to further away for other purposes such as reviews, grant proposals or educational texts. Also, the writing can be an artistic output in it’s own right like poetry or prose.

In the context of the Carpet Sessions, however, we have the specific aim of writing something to share it on our website: for improvisation colleagues to read and get inspired, but also to represent the practice of improvisation to any visitor with a curiosity who stumbles into the website.

So for this second writing session, we want to look at writing for that specific audience.

We want to ask the professional improvisers who will gather (and ourselves) the simple question: “What are you interested in to share from your improvisation practice?” (if that sharing has to be done in written text)  🙂

From there, we will do different types of writing practice, in conjunction with performing, composing short pieces, then writing from there.

We also prepared to practise ‘editing’ in different ways. Editing your texts is always a very important step before sharing, and we will try out different ways to make use of each other in editing and make that process vivid, enjoyable and practical.

This second edition of ‘Writing on Improvisation’ has been prepared by Thomas Johannsen, Maria Michailidou and Natanja den Boeft, with additonal suggestions from Bettina Neuhaus.

The session is open to all. Please write a comment to this post if you would like to be there.

What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?

Carpet season starting! – Overview for 2015/16

HereandNowfrontpageHello all!

While the first Carpet session of the season is on it’s way – have fun over there! –  I prepared this season’s start update for you.
 

  • Below, an overview of all the currently planned sessions.
     
  • There is a report on our recent Carpet picknick. You can read there what we discussed – about what we find important in being part of this initiative and about how to develop this open platform of professionals further this season. Follow this link to read more.
     
  • The costs sharing we do this year in two ways:
    • Carpet Session regulars and session leaders give 50,- for the whole season. Then you don’t have to donate for any session anymore, whether joining or leading.
    • ‘Guest’ to a session we ask to donate what they can, on a gliding scale between 5 and 10 Euro. The idea is that to cover all costs we make the year round, 10 euro is realistic to ask, but we do not want to create a barrier for those improvisers who want to check us out and wouldn’t join because of money. So for those on a small budget, any amount from 5 euro is fine!
      If you want to be a Carpet Session regular and give the 50 euro per season (or you simply want to be a supporter of this initiative, however often you will be able to attend), follow this link to read how it works.

Here now all planned sessions until now:


17+24 September – ‘Identity’
sessions with Zwaan de Vries and Nadine Grinberg
     

29 October, 12 & 19 November – “Grooves & Grounds” (worktitle) – An exploration into ‘groove’ as a focus for interdisciplinary improvisation, using voice, body, materials (with Bettina Neuhaus and Thomas Johannsen – more info soon)

As you know, any professional improviser is invited to bring his research to the Carpet Sessions and lead an afternoon (or more) of investigating their chosen issues. If you don’t know the sessions, it is of course best if you join a few times and in that way get in touch with us. But also don’t hesitate to write us a message.

Picknick in the city

wpid-cam00263_edited_resized1.jpgThis Saturday, 15th of August, I am meeting with (at least) Johnny Schoofs, Maria Michailidou, Bettina Neuhaus, Virag Dezso, Anne Gentenaar and (tbc) Kenzo Kusuda to lie in the grass and talk informally about the experiences of last year, wishes for the coming season and how to build further on this open platform initiative.

We are gathering informally for a picknick and if you like, you are very much invited to join us!

It’s a potluck picknick (everyone brings food that he/she likes), I will bring drinks. Place is the lush Eastern Harbour part of Amsterdam.

Gathering point: playground Keesje Brijdeplantsoen (Ertskade), pinpointed here on GoogleMaps.

Time to meet: 16:30

As most of you know, the Carpet Sessions are an open invitation to improvisation professionals from the Dutch scene or from abroad to make use of the Amsterdam studio on Thursday afternoons and propose interdisciplinary research sessions. Any issue that deepens the understanding of improvisation performance and/or of working with several disciplines is welcome here. If you have an urge to research or would like to help expanding the open improvisation knowledge base, feel free to get in touch through our contact page or otherwise.

Here also the preview for the beginning of the Carpet season 2015/16:

10 September –  2nd edition of “Writing on Improvisation”

17+24 September  – “What is identity?” (in improvisation performance) – facilitated by Zwaan de Vries & Nadine Grinberg

For October, Esther Eij is preparing a row of sessions on the issue of group/solo in instant compositions.

Other things on the horizon are furthering our ‘How to write about Improvisation?’ quest through a collaborative session with Benedikte Esperi, visiting from Sweden, and a performative research (theme still to be decided) with Bettina Neuhaus.

More info will follow in due course…!

 

 

 

Carpet Improvisers gathering around foundation Here & Now

Hi everyone,

in anticipation of the coming season of Carpet Sessions, I have some great news:  We have founded a ‘stichting’ (foundation) for improvisation work, which all active members in the Carpet Pool of improvisers could use in the future for their improvisation/research projects, for subsidy applications and for us to generally get organised!HereandNowfrontpage

The foundation got the official name ‘Here and Now, Interdisciplinary Instant Composition’ and we made a provisional website that can be reached via http://www.hereandnow.eu

I would like to meet with all those of you who want to keep this initiative going with me, so we can talk and see how to best organise things from here onwards.

Concretely for next season, my wish would be that we can share the costs of the studio hire (which is done per whole season) with a bigger group.
I can imagine that contributing 35,- Euro per year is in everybody’s reach, and a very attractive amount for a full year (shared) use of a studio. You then become one of the hosts of this interdisciplinary research platform, you can use the Thursday afternoons for your own improvisation projects, but more importantly as a space to invite colleagues to train and investigate with you in open or semi-closed Carpet Sessions or longer Carpet projects.

Next to this, it becomes possible for everyone in this group to apply for funding via the stichting, if at any point that is an interesting option. European projects, connecting us to our friends and improvisation research platforms in other cities (Berlin, Paris, Helsinki,…) also now come into our reach.

Please talk to the improvisation colleagues around you about this! It would be great if we can keep offering this open training ground for improvisation in Amsterdam, and build further with even more people getting involved from all disciplines!

Let me know if you’d like to be part of this via thomas@hereandnow.eu

A nice picknick on a rooftop or in the park, somewhere in August, would maybe be a great moment to gather all of you who want to join  😀   Will let you know!

hug & warm summer wishes,
Thomas

Writing on Improvisation – 11 June & 10 September

In closing of the Carpet Season of this year, I propose an unusual gathering:

Let’s have a look together at the subject of leaving traces of writing about our improvisation work. How can that be done, in a subject as wide as interdisciplinarity and as fluid as improvisation? Which type of writing is useful/effective for our own process and which types of writing are effective for sharing with others? How can we find the words that are full and clear enough for developing the craft of instant composition together?

calvin-writingBettina Neuhaus & Maria Michailidou will meet with me on Thursday, 11 June, and we invite anyone who was involved in Carpet Sessions before to join us. We’ll play, perform and write in still to be defined order and interlacing…

Bring your favorite writing tool (laptop, paper+pen, smartphone, typewriter… 😉 ) and your performer’s presence.

Results will be published in our ever-growing Improvisation Knowledge Base.

If you would like to be there, please announce your presence by writing a comment to this post.

11 June 2015

13:00-17:00

What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?

We plan another sessions like this for the beginning of the season: 10 September

– if you’d like to note it in your agenda already 🙂

Open Session “(Dis)connecting the dots” 4 June 2015

Tomorrow, 4th of June, 13:00-17:00, you are invited to join us as performer for the ‘sharing’ session of our professional research project “(Dis)connecting the dots”.

connecting_dots2_pusteblumen_grey_light3We looked at blending music, dance and theatre without a hierarchy (one discipline supporting the other) and without deciding beforehand what type of performance it would be. Does an audience need ‘certainty’ in their perception (is it a concert, a dance piece or a theatre play?) in order to engage with it, and what is needed to stay engaged as a performer?  When is the mix and the many-layerdness exciting and when is it just a soup of indistinguishable ingredients?  😀

We found things out and want to share them with you, but most of all we want to gather more experiences and reflections by playing with you tomorrow. Professional improvisation performers of any discipline are welcome! Just announce your presence by writing a comment to this post (below).

 

If you come, bring 5,- euro towards the costs of keeping the Carpet Studio rented all year round. Thanks! What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?  (click here)
   
Performers present of the research group:
   
Bernt Nellen
Wouter Snoei
Tanaquil Schuttel
Zwaan de Vries
Anja Boorsma
Jurriaan Kamp
Maria Michailidou
Annabel Garriga
Stefania Petr
Thomas Johannsen
 
 
Guests on 4 June who already announced themselves:
 
Salvoandrea Lucifora (trombone)
Margo van der Linden
Iris Heneka

Ralph de Rijke

 

PS: If you are a theatre improv practitioner in Amsterdam, this workshop on 9 June for advanced amateurs might interest you and/or your students. It is in content connected to the above research and especially designed to let theatre improv students get in touch with other approaches to improvisation performance in order to broaden their skill. Brought to you by allimprov :). Please spread the word!

Writing on Improvisation – 11 June

In closing of the Carpet Season of this year, I propose an unusual gathering:

Let’s have a look together at the subject of leaving traces of writing about our work. How can that be done, in a subject as wide as interdisciplinarity and as fluid as improvisation? Which type of writing is useful/effective for our own process and which types of writing are effective for sharing with others? How can we find the words that are full and clear enough for developing the craft of instant composition together?

calvin-writingBettina Neuhaus & Maria Michailidou will meet with me on Thursday, 11 June, and we invite anyone who was involved in Carpet Sessions before to join us. We’ll play, perform and write in still to be defined order and interlacing…

Bring your favorite writing tool (laptop, paper+pen, smartphone, typewriter… 😉 ) and your performer’s presence.

Results will be published in our ever-growing Improvisation Knowledge Base.

If you would like to be there, please announce your presence by writing a comment to this post.

11 June 2015

13:00-17:00

What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?

We plan another sessions like this for the beginning of the season after the summer. (first or second Thursday of September – if you’d like to note it in your agenda already).

See you either for this, or next week for the open session of (Dis)connecting the Dots (4 June), and otherwise: Have a great summer!

(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.
       
Update:
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:
Music:
James Hewitt
Bernt Nellen
Wouter Snoei
Tanaquil Schuttel
Zwaan de Vries
Theater:
Anja Boorsma
Esmeralda Detmers
Jurriaan Kamp
Edgard Geurink
Dance:
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


          
      

Relevant Others – regular impro initiatives we are connected with

This post is to list for you some other initiatives that the Carpet Collective is connected with, either in content or geographically. They are all worth checking out!

And do let us know if we forgot about other regular initiatives for interdisciplinary improvisation work that should be mentioned here!

Outside of Holland, there are two Improvisation Laboratories that the Amsterdam scene has been connected with for some time:

Helsinki Meeting Point (HMP) in Helsinki

Instant Pudding in Paris

For Amsterdam and Utrecht people, the following are returning initiatives that you can check out and join, next to our Carpet Sessions:

       

Area59 – who are organising morning classes and interdisciplinary impro labs in Amsterdam. Area59 is based in the community of dancers/choreographers, but they are very open & investigative concerning interdisciplinary work. The following Carpet Session regulars are at the moment active in leading sessions at area59 (click on the names for more info about the sessions)

Maaike van de Westeringh is hosting an intensive Impro Lab this afternoon. (17:00-19:00)
Maria Mavridou is giving TrainingLabs this week and next in the ‘Dangerous Mouse’ format (intensive movement training)
Thomas Johannsen is giving three interdisciplinary instant composition TrainingLabs next week (8-10 April)
Sarah-Kate Gardiner is following on 13-17 April and
Maria Michailidou on 18-22 May

IC Practice

(Instant Composition Practice bi-monthly at Dansmakers, Amsterdam)

This initiative is completely focused on Instant Composition work and is another great initiative for ‘knowledge&training sharing between improvisation professionals’.

Next edition of the IC Practice will be on April 25th 2015, 16:30-20:00 (audience welcome at 19:00) – Eerste Helmersstraat 102 1/2

More info about this initiative of Dansimprovisatie Utrecht & Amsterdam you can find here.

Genetic Choir
Coming from the field of vocal instant composition, the Genetic Choir bridges from their research into the human voice and open systems to other disciplines on a regular basis. Connecting their musical approach to fine art (graphic score), video and movement research.
Singers of the Genetic Choir are regulars at the Carpet Sessions, but they have also their own training sessions and workshops, mostly in Amsterdam, which you can check out here.

Monday Match, Bimhuis

Formerly called “The Meeting Point” and originally set up by Marcos Baggiani and Valeria Primost (which connected back then already Amsterdam with Helsinki – see above), this is the well-known monthly night of dance&music improvisation in the Bimhuis Amsterdam, which also is sometimes side-stepping into other disciplines…  It is a free evening, thanks to the support of the Bimhuis, almost always a great place to be.

Next edition is curated by Michael Schumacher and Sandra Pujols on 13 April 2015

Boiler Room, Utrecht

Also bi-monthly, this is the regular dance&music improvisation performance night in Utrecht (what the Monday Match at the Bimhuis is for Amsterdam). performance.

Next one is on April 12th 2015, curated by instant composition veteran Katie Duck.

 

 

 

…so far for now.  🙂

Of course this overview is not complete. And we are happy to add to it! Let us know if there are more interdisciplinary improvisation initiatives – near or far – that should be mentioned here!