IIIF beta 0.1: Three Open Sessions 9/11/13 March

IIIF beta 0.1 poster by Catharine Cary

fullsizerenderThe first ever edition of IIIF – International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival – will start with an open Carpet Session next Thursday, 9 March 14:00-17:00 !  (doors open at 13:30)

During this beta 0.1 festival, in which an international group of artist from Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris and Goteborg will work together intensively for five days, we will hold a total of three Open Sessions, to share and gather thoughts, insights, energy and play from any improvisers who want to join us in our quest.

The central question of this edition is “How to document improvisation principles and processes?”, which the research group intends to tackle with a healthy mix of practice, play and reflection.

Next to the opening session on Thursday there will be one mid-festival open session on Saturday and an open session on Monday to close the festival. 

You are welcome to join, also spontaneously! Note that only the Thursday session is at the Carpet Session studio, the other two are in the beautiful studio of De EesterRental cost sharing: if you join, bring a self-chosen amount (5-10 euro) so we can cover our costs.

9 March, Thursday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
dansstudio Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam

11 March, Saturday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
studio De Eeester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.

13 March, Monday, doors open: 13:30 / 14:00-17:00
studio De Eeester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.

We are looking forward to play/exchange/perform with you!

See you next week,

the ‘Research Group’ of IIIF beta 0.1

Andrea Hackl
Benedikte Esperi
Catharine Cary
Esmeralda Detmers
Jagna Anderson
Maria Michailidou
Shelley Owen
Thomas Johannsen

Two Carpet Sessions on Support and Challenge



In two sessions, we, James Hewitt -musician and Maria Michailidou- dance artist are going to examine questions on support and challenge.

How do we identify and experience support and challenge in an Interdisciplinary Instant Composition context? What are their applications and implications?

What are their specific features? What do they share? When does support become challenge and challenge support?

In which ways do they determine the relationship between fellow practitioners and the evolution of the improvised work?

More specifically: How do we get and give support? We are getting support from the outside environment, as we see, hear, perceive, become aware, notice, respond to stimuli, relate. We’re getting support from the inner environment as well, as our focus is on physical sensations, thoughts, images, memories.

How do we challenge ourselves and own patterns, the materials of the work, individual choices, relationships, stories, the course of the improvised piece?

Bring your curiosity and more questions with you and come to share and explore together..

We are looking forward to!


WHEN: 2ND AND 23rd MARCH  FROM 13.00 TO 17.00

Carpet Session TRIOS at 23.2 from 13.00 – 17.00.

The last three Carpet Sessions were organised by Maria, Zwaan and Esmeralda. With the idea to share our different disciplines: dance, voice and acting.

Last week session the focus was on voice by Zwaan. This time the focus will be on body work and text by Maria and Esmeralda. Esmeralda will share her experience as an actress by using the context abstract or concrete. By being direct and using realistic meaning or placing words in space and being poetic.

How we can influence each other disciplines by using words. Playing with text and add to voice/ music and movement.

We hope to see you this Thursday at Dansstudio, Vredenburgersteeg 31 Amsterdam. Time: 13.00 – 17.00 For no member 5 euro fee for renting studio.

See you soon, Esmeralda and Maria.



Inviting you to IIIF beta 0.1 – International Improvisation Festival in Amsterdam

IIIF beta 0.1 poster by Catharine Cary

Hey all improvisers, instant composers, dancers, musicians, actors, philosophers, pudding makers far and wide !

IIIF beta 0.1 poster by Catharine Cary
IIIF beta 0.1 poster by Catharine Cary

From the 9th to the 13th of March 2017, we are proposing IIIF – a beta festival 0.1 that looks at the artistic practice of interdisciplinary improvisation. This festival will feel like performers mingling and playing together, it will feel like serious scientific researchers trying to grasp and record what they are doing and it will feel like a lot of nice people gathering to cook and eat together. Would you like to participate ?

IIIF 0.1 – International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival Amsterdam, Holland

9 to 13 March 2017

An invitation by : Benedikte Esperi (SW) Thomas Johannsen (NL) Catharine Cary (US/FR)


supported by the Carpet Sessions Amsterdam, Genetic Choir Amsterdam, Instant Pudding !, Dansverk and the Faculty of Fine and Applied Art in Gothenburg, Sweden.



One of the crucial elements of advancing an art form is artistic research. Research and documentation, and the process of doing it, allow the form to open, consider, grow and take pauses to understand. All three of us, and many others around the world that practice instant composition within one discipline or across many, are interested in growing the knowledge and practice of our art, and increasing its public.


IIIF 0.1 will be held in Amsterdam, the next ones probably in Gothenburg and Avignon, followed by other European cities where connected improvisation artists live and work.
This first meeting is meant to better define our and your ambition for a connected international community of improvisers that collects and makes useful the various approaches to improvisation. The intention of this work would be to further connect, inspire and develop pathways between the various communities in Europe and around the world.

One of the great things about today is that there are more and more festivals, workshops, meetings, practice sessions, and movement around interdisciplinary improvisation. Yes ! This is just one more, until the cup runneth over, and suddenly our art form is everywhere, contaminating everything, and making a lot of people inside and outside of it really happy.

We are proposing 4 “research circle” sessions to people who have expressed to us a specific interest in the process of documenting artistic research in interdisciplinary improvisation, and we are proposing 3 “open circle” interdisciplinary improvisation practice sessions.



The initiative is started by Benedikte, Catharine and Thomas, but we are very open to include more people into the core group of enablers of IIIF. Come participate if you can, and even if you cannot, let us know if you would be interested, and on what potential level of engagement. (e.g. being associated as an artist in the research, proposing content and being present during all the festival sessions, carrying the project artistically/organisationally with us, supporting IIIF 0.1 by providing sleeping place for someone from abroad, just hopping on and off…)

More extensive information, and also how to get in contact with us you can find in this pdf: iiif festival invitation



Thursday 9 March:
The first open session to start the festival is at the usual Carpet Session studio:
dansstudio Vredenburgersteeg,
Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam.

Friday 10 to Monday 13 March:
All other days/sessions (except the brunch) are at:
Studio De Eester, C. Van Eesterenlaan 266, Amsterdam.



9 to 13 March 2017

are from 14:00 to 17:00
on Thursday 9, Saturday 11 and Monday 13

– doors open at 13H30

RESEARCH CIRCLE SESSIONS include all open sessions, and are in total all four days 10:00-17:00 (only Thursday, we start at 14:00) .  More detailed info in the pdf.




That’s the idea of this IIIF – how to document? – it will be however we imagine and test it out – drawings, entries in the website, texts, songs, videos, scholarly treatises …

For this IIIF beta, Benedikte will be in charge of video documentation that could result in definitions, small instructive moments, or explanations of a technique which sharpens our ability to be present, to notice and to compose in the instant. The target is moving and the work is evolutionary, we may invent new forms of art and of research during these 4 days. If you come, you need to be OK with your image being used. If you like to take video and like to edit, click here. (Benedikte) benedikte.esperi@gmail.com

Otherwise, bring an open mind, a big glass of water, a camera if you can shoot video and like to, an instrument. And a notebook. Wear comfortable clothes.



sliding scale of 5 to 10 euros per session.


And here’s who we are :

Benedikte Esperi (SW)

Holds an MFA in Contemporary Performative Arts with practice in dance for screen, physical performance in public space and sound art. She has run the company Dansverk since 2007 which produces solo and ensemble performances. Since 2011, She is also a part time lecturer in dance at The Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg.


Thomas Johannsen (NL)

Performer and performance maker who works on the borders between fine art, theatre, dance and music. Improvisation and open systems of meaning creation form a strong current in all his work. ( http://www.thojoh.com) He is founder and artistic director of the Genetic Choir ( http://www.genetic-choir.org ) and created the international platform for Interdisciplinary Instant Composition, with its Amsterdam emanation of the Carpet Sessions. http://www.instantcomposition.com

Catharine Cary (US/FR)

A visual performative artist known as ‘‘la tagueuse élégante”, Catharine Cary is a painter, a dancer and female. She is co-founder of Instant Pudding!, a platform that provokes opportunities for sharpening skills for scenic improvisation across Europe. http://www.catharine-cary.com



Next Carpet Session, Thursday 16th: 13.00-17.00 – TRIOS : focus and shifts.

Last Carpet Session we worked with three disciplines Maria (dance), Angela and Jesica (voice) and Esmeralda (acting). We choose a theme ‘Lines’ and worked from our own discipline to make a solo of 3/5 min. Later we explored how we could enter from your one discipline into a solo piece of an other discipline.

Questions that popped-up:

  1. Where did you felt lost in the piece?
  2. Where or how did you not had a connection with the other discipline?
  3. How can you make or find a way to connect to the other (discipline)?
  4. Is it needed for the piece to feel all the time connected with others?
  5. Where is the focus?
  6. Who is responsible for the piece? Or more: who feels responsible of the piece and is that necessary?

Next Thursday we will continue the research of working with different disciplines.

All disciplines are welcome for our session to share and explore the beginnings of piece, the shifts and the work in process of the different approach of each other’s art tools.

See you at dance studio Vredenbrugersteeg 31, Amsterdam, thursday 13.00 – 17.00

Maria, Zwaan and Esmeralda



CARPET SESSION 9,16 and 23 februari 13.00 – 17.00

We are delighted to invite you to our sessions to share with you strategies, insights, thoughts, challenges and playful moments we encountered during our collaboration.

Our creative process resulted to three performances; two in Berlin( Impro Exchange Festival, July 2016 and Impro Per Arts Festival, June 2017) and one in Amsterdam, Ot301 , June 2016).

During our research project, we worked on bringing together three different disciplines: acting, voice and dance. By using their specific attributes we envisioned to create a common ground where the three disciplines meet.
Applying the formal elements of improvisation-time, space, dynamics, relationships, composition-we were looking for creating a context from within stories are unfolding in the present time. These stories defined the content of our improvisation that is expressing itself through movement, text and vocalisation. 

Our attention was drawn to different sources such as: sensory information, inner dialogue, outside environment and the collective narrative of the improvisation. Various and complex focal points of attention that were coming together and asked to be danced, sung, spoken and shared.

The key aspect of our work is that voice and language are not separate from our physical and sensorial experience..

Your presence, participation, sharing and exchanging is very welcome.

Looking forward to on Thursday 9th, 16th and 23 from 13.00 – 17.00.

At Dansstudio Vredenburgersteeg 31-35 Amsterdam

Esmeralda, Zwaan and Maria(nthi).

Text article by Maria.

Let’s raise the tone 2



Last thursday, sep 1, we (Esmeralda, Maria, Natanja) went quite loud.

It was uncomfortable, liberating, tiring, funny, surprising…

We started by trying to define loudness in a performative space, outside the sense of hearing to which it first of all ‘belongs’. What is loud with a silent body, what is a loud space?

Loud: a higher than average:

  • Muscular tension
  • Speed (but we perceived slow with a high tension also as loud)
  • Volume
  • Expression
  • Use of space
  • Repetition
  • Unfocussed energy
  • Chattering (filling time/space without pause)

Loudness can obviously not exist without its counterpart and a build-up. It was easy to create loudness through opposition, but it was more interesting to create it through collaboration. We investigated the loudness of clichés: circus, argument, showballet, clowning.

Coming thursday, september 8, we continue with this theme and it would be so great to be numerous!

So pack your instruments and dancing pants, oil your throats and come play!

Thursday september 8, 13 -17 hrs, Studio Vredenburg, Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam.

Costs: contribution towards rent between € 5 and € 10, or seasonal contribution € 50.

Please comment below to announce your presence at the session!

More practical info on: https://instantcomposition.com/cc-detailed/

Let’s raise the tone

As I wrote in june, I am proposing two sessions on playing in the higher end of the loudness spectrum. More muscle-tone, more volume, louder voices. What does that give the composition, can it make it richer, funnier, more complicated? Will conflict automatically arise or are we, polite people in general, harmoniously loud? Is it pleasant to be loud or when a co-player is and what are instinctive, cultural, personal reactions to a raised? What play, what vocabulary comes out in that end of our spectrum? Is it liberating or oppressive?

In my culture which was reflected strongly in my upbringing by parents who loved to  blend in loudness was not appreciated. In dance I’ve long had a love for tension, complication, knowing where I am by feeling muscles. Compensation behavior could be an all too easy explanation, there might be more to the game than that.

I come to the facilitation of these afternoons with curiosity and an intense desire to play.

Practically, I propose a rather open playing and investigating carpet: warming-up, sharing thoughts and ideas around the theme, an open improvisation and from what comes out of that: making pieces and watching pieces being made.

Hope to see you thursday!



Thursday september 1 & 8, 13 -17 hrs, Studio Vredenburg, Vredenburgersteeg 31-35, Amsterdam.

Costs: contribution towards rent between € 5 and € 10, or seasonal contribution € 50.

Please comment below to announce your presence at the session!

More practical info on: https://instantcomposition.com/cc-detailed/