The very fruitful research of working with musicians, dancers & actors on equal footing in Instant Composition Performance has culminated in a detailed review article that can be found here:
Parts of the article were used to extend our Knowlegde Base with another main chapter (Material) and a subchapter (Phrasing). Please let me know if you see anything that you cannot agree to from your own practice.
Also, if this inspires you to write more subchapters to the Knowledge Base, or contribute your knowledge in any other way (we are still looking for a gifted website person to make our improvisation.wiki more ‘3D’ 🙂 ) – do get in contact.
Thanks to all the performers, to allimprov and to Anja Boorsma for making (Dis)connecting the Dots possible! (click here for the original session invitation post)
The performers who contributed their time and expertise to our extending knowledge on interdisciplinary improvisation work in this project were:
This post is a reaction from Weijke Koopmans to the announcement of the upcoming session “Postponing the end”. We have worked together previously around this theme. The letter below is her personal attempt (and she is managing well) to describe even more precisely what the core interest is in working with “endings” in Instant Composition.
All who are interested to join the session this Thursday are welcome.
i write my thoughts in the form of a letter to you. i will try to become more clear as i write. your comments and thoughts are very welcome.
‘postpone an ending’, those words immediately scratched a lot of stuff.
ending is anyway a very fascinating business. when, how, who. does everybody get it, is it the right moment, too soon, late, clumsy, obvious, smooth, necessary.
the best ends for me are where ‘it’ decides. what is ‘it’? this so hard to name, but so necessary thing you need in improvisation. the shared mind. being with and in that sense that all of us try to develop. that state where you are totally present and alert, yet not on a deciding track. where you ‘are’, movement ‘is’.
so then the end presents itself.
haah, there it is, an end! and do you take it, or not.
you are sitting at a table, there is a sandwich on your plate, you notice it being placed in front of you. are you hungry? can you sit and watch? do you eventually bite, do you walk away, or do you pass it on to your neighbour. it is an interesting improv exercise: just watch the sandwich on your plate, being still and alert. just watch for a bit. it’s like a little gap in time. can you stay there, still alert, and do nothing.
next could be: what are your options: eat, put some music on first, make tea, do a phone call.
so in the mean time i am also talking about postponing. for me, it has a lot to do with noticing. so i do not think so much of postponing. more like noticing a possible end. and decide: is it shared, necessary, good timing? it is just a possibility. you can do with it what is needed, what is wished for, what….? maybe you don’t know, you don’t decide. now it gets really complicated. and you are not the only one in the space! there is you, other dancers, the dance, music.
noticing an end: it can pass in a millisecond. you stay behind, a little bewildered sometimes, omg, i missed it! or it can linger on for a while. the interesting bit, is what i think you refer to johnny, is that bit of time. end-ing.
an ending is also a fun place to be, to wait, to live in, move through, be still.
could be an interesting thing to do: can we make a piece that consists of only endings? as sometimes i consider my movement as only beginnings, a continuous stream of beginnings (that is a hard one to end, by the way).
then to finish my letter, some possible ends:
in the air
could be a long list, this one. so, could we name the endings this thursday? what kind of ending is this ?
fun and horrible too. label something that can also just exist, needs no words what so ever.
so, a little food for thursday. sitting here in my lovely backyard, catching the last sun…
and you dancing away in rotterdam…
thanks so much for all the good work during the Open Session at Dansmakers on 30th of February.
We were with 40 dancers/singers (+ 1 dog), which is an amazing number for a research session, and it worked magically, beautifully well! The performance in the evening was surely something to remember…
I just wanted to post here the aspects of the research that we gathered during the session, with your help. The core group will now dig deeper into it the coming weeks and we hope to see you again on the rounding off Open Session on 29th of March.
Phrase = beginning – duration – end
Linked to the question of beginning/end in phrasing:
Landing/Arriving – What ends? – Transformation – give new life to… – what comes after? – same/different/similar thing in different context.
Linked to duration:
Coherence/Integrity of a Phrase – What holds is together? – ‘It makes sense’ – Dynamics – Shape – Rhythm
What is Silence? (in Phrasing)
Awareness of choice in Phrasing: what, when, where, with whom?
Why phrasing? For readability / For clarity of your vocabulary
Phrasing = Articulation
Phrases are Building Blocks and Markers – in time/material. Creating perspective in the sea of meanings.
What are the different layers of a phrase?
More quotes that were put on the second paper at the end of the session:
“Interaction is important for phrasing/meaning.”
“For something to be a phrase you need at least two elements and a connection between them.”
“I make decisions all the time.You need to keep in mind your destination the entire road.”
“What is being proposed?” “Making a choice brings clarity and readability. Awareness of another phrase is a starting point.”
“Letting it grow, not make it”.
“10 people, many phrases. One phrase is contagious: Three people pick it up, join and finish the phrase.”
Phrase –> Receiving
“Relating in time to phrases:
– Starting together
– Slow starting after each other –
– Together: A – one phrase and B – three phrase in one”
“Timing, Dynamic, Play!” / “Connect”
To join the upcoming open session on 29th of March or read more about the project, find all information here.
Thank you for all your reactions to the “Secret Life of Phrases” research!
We had great response from a number of colleagues and heard clearly the shared intention to support and take part in these self-organized research projects under the Carpet Sessions wing. The idea is to grow in the interdisciplinary practice and feed the improvisation community in the Netherlands.
Next to this project, we trust that other events of this kind will follow and we would like to encourage other artists to feel inspired and organize such a gathering under a theme they feel strongly about.
Our choice of a core group has been made considering different aspects of having a balanced and challenging configuration, as well as limiting numbers to be able to work intensely in this limited time frame. The core group is:
Sarah Kate Gardiner, Maria Michailidou, Johnny Schoofs, Marc Nukoop, Virag Dezso, Moira Mirck, Petra Pieck, Yinske Silva, Marjolijn Roeleveld
The core group will deepen the research during the Thursday Sessions, but before and after we would like to welcome everyone on the two Saturdays where the dialogue with movement and voice and a reflection with a larger group can take place.
So we are looking forward to meet you in the Secret Life of Phrases research! See for the whole project description this post.
If you want to take part in (one of) the IC practice sessions, on Saturday 22nd of February and/or 29th of March, do let us know by commenting below, so we have an approximation of numbers.
Times and Address for the two IC Sessions:
16:30 -18.45 Practice (studio open 16.00)
19.00 -19.30 Performance
Address: Dansmakers Amsterdam, Eerste Helmerstraat 102 ½ (opposite 147)
We hope to see you there and play/reflect together!
With warm greetings,
Thomas & Marisa
This is a call for participants for a research project that will happen in January (31) and February (14, 21) 2013 and where I would be very please to welcome you.
This project aims to develop a methodological approach that would facilitate dance music performances creation by giving a specific framework based on the archetypal notions of the “Dreamer” and the “Observer”.
The point of departure for this research originates from my experience as a dance performer, with extended experience in improvisation approaches, and from the work of Authentic Movement, philosophy and phenomenology, Vipassana meditation, neurosciences research, Shamanism, Continuum Movement, the Jungian and humanistic approaches in psychology.
When I refer to the “observer” I mean the internal witness, the voice of our inner self, perceivable through feelings and sensations. The “observer” give us a sense of self and being present in the here and now. The Observer is at the core of the experience.
When I refer to the “dream” or the “dreamer” I mean the creative capacity of the psyche to project sensations, feelings, images…it is a mental activity that we experience in everyday life when our thoughts navigate between insights, memories, mental projections, creation of futures and imagination. The dreamer’s space is dimensional, virtual, endless, and infinite.
The first stage is to be aware of impulses, and to locate from which places they come from. We use impulses originating from the body or the mind through imagination and sensory awareness; it becomes the primary source of the dream.
We project the content of the dream into a performing space of awareness, with the help of the observer. The goal is to project these impulses in the room and to manifest them physically in a creative and performing act.
These impulses may come from a physical, emotional, mental or unconscious place, the “observer” is in charge of tracking and locating them in our system and to give permission and consciousness for the “dream” to unfold. The “dream” is actualized through creative expression of movements, sounds, dances, play, characters, actions or anything that is manifested through possible forms of body’ expressions.
This approach follows psycho-physiological processes as a base for a creative action, more than a technical approach. The performance is then not based on technical mastery but upon the capacity to create within oneself clear and strong imagery, dance, theater and situations that will engage an audience.
The method becomes then appropriate for amateur, non-professional or for anybody wanting to explore his or her creativity, and more largely it is a performing approach giving to individuals ways to perform their own potential.
I hope we can share some of the research together and I am looking forward to meet all artists interested in this process.
Object/visual theatremakers and puppeteers Lindai Boogerman and Martine van Ditzhuyzen will lead with me an exploration of objects and improvisation in November/December. With the subtle relationship in mind that a puppeteer/object-player can have with ‘stuff’/things/material, we want to know how we can use this for interdisciplinary instant composition. We would like to involve and ask not only puppet players, but more so musicians, dancers, actors, lighting/visual people,… to interact with material that accompanies them on stage.
6th of December 2012
13th of December 2012
Sessions (14:00-17:00) will be semi-open, meaning we would like to define the group of researchers beforehand. Preference is to people who can join all three sessions, but exceptions can be made. Just talk to us.
We will post more detailed information end of October. But you can already write your comments below to state your interest in the subject or if you have a question.
Thomas, Martine, Lindai