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Second round of ‘Can i go solo?’ starts december 3. 13.00-1530. Welcome!

3/10/17 december 13.00-15.30

A new series of three sessions start next week. artists from any discipline (performing ans non-performing) are welcome to join us in the search for balancing the groupwork and solowork within improvisation. What makes us a group, how do we perform as a group, how can i go solo within the group, where is my timing, our energy, how does it flow?

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor group

all these questions came up in the previous series. Now we want to continue our work.

if you want to know what happened in the previous sessions, read our summary below

Leave a respons if you want to join in.

https://instantcomposition.wordpress.com/carpet-collective/

There was a sense of Rebellion”

About Can I go solo?

Three sessions have taken place by now.

In these three sessions we worked with actors, musicians, dancers, visual artists.

A lot of questions arose during the work. We wrote them down to share, but we didn’t try to come to a group answer on them. Everyone found their own answers (or not). The ones i write down here are a combination of our shared observations and my personal thoughts on the subject.

Questions written down were:

  • What is my relationship to groups 4-20 people? How do I explore that physically, sonically, etc.?
  • if you are are so together as a group, how do you start a new initiative? When do you leave what you do and adept/imitate?
  • Is being a group truly in what you do or in being aware the others are doing/starting something else? (how to make it organic instead of dropping it immediately)
  • How to keep personal freedom within a group.
  • Where’s the balance between following-leading?
  • Is it possible to follow and lead at the same time by all at once? A group mind which also listens to the individual?
  • What is the role of patience?
  • In which layer can we do “all the same”? Surrender to actual copying and trust that this will lead to something else?
  • Can a solo be created organically through group work or the sensitivity of the group?
  • Do you (I) dare to ‘take the stage’ in group work?
  • Can i tune into group thought the focus of developing solo material? During the sessions a lot of questions arose. Such as:
  • Are you a soloist when you are the only one doing something (e.g. a remark on being the only one with a certain expertise in the group)
  • Are you having a solo moment when you are not doing what everybody else does, but are still attributing to the impro?
  • What does it mean to be together and how does that relate to different disciplines?
  • How do we become a group thanks to our diverse background, instead of in spite of that.
  • How can we use our own expertise/background/discipline to contribute to this improvisational set

Observations on GROUP:

We started our research by doing the same thing all together at the same time. There was no audience, everybody was improvising all the time, the whole time. This lead to the following remarks:

Not copying defines the group, but focusing on the same while doing different things.

A group becomes interesting to watch when you can still see the individuals within the group.

Feeling part of the group came with a feeling of organic mood/rhythm/movement.

There was a sense of rebellion, which leads to making small changes to the given group theme: was this impatience or evolution?

The second and third sessions we worked with a more structured way of improvising. There was audience, and the structure meant we started with an empty space, and one by one we would start improvising, up to a maximum of 4 performers. This way we wanted to create more room, time and space for all the elements we encountered in the first session. It gave us the possibility to observe the process more. These are some observations on those sessions.

What makes us a group? The very fact that we are in this room, concentrating on the same work, makes us a group. But then we find there are groups within groups.

The performers are a group, the visual artists are a group, the audience is a group. You can play with this. You can try to diffuse the boundaries between these sub-groups by not acknowledging the difference. If you consider everyone who is physically present as part of the group, then you create a kind of confusion for everyone about the part their taking in the improvisation (e.g. Is there an audience, when you consider the audience a part of the improvisers?)

TRUST was a word that came up more and more; trusting your group members to focus on the same thing as you. Trusting the each other to follow and lead when it feels necessary. But also trusting yourself to change or alter the improvisations form/energy/etc. When you think it necessary.

It appears that often everyone felt the action needed to change, but no one dared taking charge and break or shift the action. So group ca also mean no one dares to take initiative.

Trusting the group gives a natural rhythm to the improvisation.

Waiting long enough to be/ feel like a group seems to be important.

ADDING and BUILDING and DIVERSIFY:

We defined a difference between the several actions you can take as a group;

You can ADD to one another’s action. Meaning a does something, and B steps in and does something to counter it, or support it or, broaden it.

but you can also BUILD. This would mean, A starts with an action, B steps in and does the same, so does C, D, etc. By committing our self to this one action as a group, we narrow down and intensify the action until a climax is reached, after which something new can start to happen.

DIVERSIFYING would mean that every group member has an individual action, but is still very much aware of the actions of all the other performers. So there is still a group work going on, although it is not immediately clear on sight what the group focus is. It’s just the TRUST between all the group members that our mutual focus will keep us together.

On the matter of SOLO:

Does solo work exist within a group? Or is it merely a continuous shifting of focus, between doing the same thing, to everybody doing something individual to one person doing something different from the rest, with all the group giving their attention?

Also solo moments can work as a tool for changing the group energy ans rhythm. It bends/breaks/shifts the ongoing flow.

Solo can be:

a new starting point

the shifting of focusing

breaking the energy.

On MULTIDISCIPLINARITY

In the first session the performing group seemed to be a more dominant subgroup within the group. Fast decision making, feedback, action, leading. Whereas the non-performing artists seemed more observant, following, silent. After talking about this the next session, there was more room for different kind of impulses and initiative. More visual actions, more awareness of space, colour, sound. And a greater sense of freedom by everyone to bring in any impulse or action you wanted. This freedom led to a beautiful series of moments where performance, colour, sound and spacing came together. This freedom seemed to give us more sensitivity for each others’ impulses and more possibilities to explore new grounds.

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Open session ‘Can I go solo?’ 15th octobre

KecakWe want to invite everyone who is interested in groupwork-solowork in improvisations, to join us for an open session on thursday octobre 15th.

The last two sessions we have been working on shifting focus in groupwork and solowork. And a lot of new ideas, concepts and questions arose.

We have been focussing on:

      • What does it mean to work as a group?
      • What does it mean to be an individual within a group?
      • How do we use our multidisciplinary background in the group and solo-work?

It has been an exciting journey up till now. During the last two sessions we found a way to shift from group to one or none, endings becoming new startingpoints, individuals becoming a group, doing the same thing, doing different things but still remaining a group, then becoming a group of soloists, evolving into a solo of blue squares.

Next week we want to go deeper into themes like

waiting/ strechting time/timing. Adding to eachothers ideas/building on eachothers input/taking time and space/giving time and space.

Sounds interesting? Come and join us next week to share our research. Let us know through the posts, or email me at esther@bureaueij.nl.

We start at 13.00 and work till 15.30.

 

For more info on the Carpet Sessions: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?

 

Can I go solo? about individuality in group improvisation

I (Esther Eij) want to invite artists from all kinds of artdisciplines (performing and non-performing!) to join me in a 6 session research on the balance between groupwork and individuality.

lege-speelvloer

WHEN: 1, 8, 15 oct. + 3, 10, 17 dec. 2015 between 13.00-15.30
Each cycle of three will end with an open session in wich we share our findings with others.

WHAT: In group improvisation there is always a balance to be found between the group and it’s individual members. This makes group improvisation an exciting way to research the role of the individual in the process of the group.

In the sessions I want to focus on the questions:

      • What does it mean to work as a group?
      • What does it mean to be an individual within a group?
      • How do the two influence each other? And how does group improvisation influence the solo work?
      •  How do you want it to influence your individual work?

Themes that we will focus on are e.g.:
leading-following
initiating, waiting, timing
taking and giving space, time, attention, focus.
solo work- group work

WHO: To research this, I would like to work with a group of artists from different disciplines, performing and non-performing! The mix between artists who more often  work alone (e.g. visual artists, writers) and performers who mostly work in relation to others (e.g. musicians, dancers, actors) will create a rich context to look at both interdisciplinary improvisation principles and your own artistic practice.

HOW: It’s my intention to work with the same group of people for these 6 sessions, so we can find the time to explore and experiment and maybe develop a way of working that helps us use our individual qualities during group work.

Please announce yourself if you would like to join in by writing a comment to this blogpost (below) or emailing me directly esther@bureaueij.nl.
Participants contribute between 5-10 euro p.p. per session as a Carpet donation for helping to keep the studio open all year for improvisation research. For more info on the Carpet Sessions: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?

About me:
I come from a theatre background, teaching, directing, performing. More and more i started to focus wiezijnweestherkleinmy work on how we communicate with one another, how we interact, and how we experience ourselves and the ones around us. I call this:Practising Communication. Under that name I organise different forms of conversations,Socratic Dialogues, training- and improvisationsessions, performances in daily live.

Hope to see you in october. And please share this invite!

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 🙂

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


What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio? / What about money? (click here)
          
      

Cacophony of dis/balances– exchange session with Hong Kong

CARPET SESSION – 26 March 2015
Cacophony of dis/balances– exchange session with Hong Kong

1011602_10206287719417145_106868858210729790_nIntroduction
In this carpet session entitled ‘cacophony of disbalance’ we will research a small element of a bigger cross cultural interdisciplinary art research/collaboration entitled ‘home’ in which the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Japan are participating (2014-2017). ‘Home’ explores the process of deconstruction/reconstruction. More information about this concept/project you can find below in ‘background information’.

Content
We start from the idea that a transformation process has three basic stages: deconstruction, liminal space and reconstruction. After deconstruction, we have either chosen for or it chose us, we are no longer the same. We leave and let go of things that were apparently not part of our essence and purpose. Out of the chaos (liminal space) of not knowing, we rebuild and reconstruct. In this process we do not seem to have the luxury to just through away remains of ‘the old’.

In reality, reconstruction often means starting from dis/balance….a body or a ci10940434_729736603788998_1165796316443229264_nty that was affected by the shaking deconstruction brings along. Rather than disciplining ‘it’ to function as it used to, or in line with what we determine as ‘better’, we will curiously look for the disturbances, the dis/balances that were created and take that as a point of departure to lead us into reconstruction. While ‘exploiting’ the possibilities that dis/balances provide and resisting the temptation to go for harmony, we hope to create a nice zoo of sounds, a physical cacophony of dis/balances leading us into surprisingly new ways to reconstruct.

In the carpet sessions we will let idea to reconstruct from a liminal space of dis/balance lead us into instant composition dialogues between dancers/musicians/space in the following manner:

  • taking the time to become aware of any possible mental or physical dis/balance in the body, in the NOW moment. Sinking into the dis/balance and take it as a point of departure for movement/music to develop.
  • work with limitations (e.g. no use of voice only sounds, or isolate certain body
    parts, or only use ‘between sounds’) to guide us into instant composition
  • exploitation of dis/balance. Resist the temptation as a musician/dancer to work towards a point of harmony…exploit the dis/balance, the being in two separate worlds.
    IMG_080610273088_602979569798036_906277678359902710_o

Photo´s are from the Hong Kong village Shui Tau Tsuen we currently interact and work in to do interdisciplinary instant composition research

Practicalities
Date: 26 March 2015
Time: 2-5 pm, arrive a bit early (1.30 pm) to change and share tea, so we can really start at 2 pm
Location: dansstudio Vredenburgersteeg, 5 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station (Vredenburgersteeg 31-35).
Register: In order to join a session you are asked to announce that you are coming by writing a Comment to the session invitation that has been posted on the blog (www.instantcomposition.nl). Please also RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/1440503489574335/
Fee: 5 euro (to share the costs for the space).
Background of the bigger project ‘Home’
‘Home’ is a concept researched in a three year project entitled ‘home’; a cross cultural dance collaboration including Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Japan (see http://bit.ly/17ylrQF). During the collaboration artists are traveling back and forth to share movement material, to create performances and give joined paper presentations. The project researches: What is it that Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands can learn from each other when it comes to: (a) the effects of the current global turmoil/shaking on the social, spatial and political cartography of our cities and our lives. What does the shaking reveal in terms of the power structures in place? How resilient are we under such circumstances? How willing to let go of old things? To end up in a state of ‘not-knowing’ when the new has not yet arrived? What remains? (b) the role artists can play to rethink our own (city) identities and to make decisions about which stories, myths and narratives we want to let go of to make room for the development of new meta-narratives better in line with our yearnings to co-create a place/space called home?

Facilitators

Marloes van Houten

140405_naamloos__BPF9957 (1)Marloes is a movement educator, performing artist, researcher, and expressive arts trainer/coach. While raised in the Netherlands she lived, did research and danced in Eastern Europe, South Asia, Canada, Brasil, Mexico and Hong Kong, on development, civic education, peace building, movement and community art projects. In 2013, she founded an expressive art coaching practice (www.zoecoaching.nl) and a platform on Arts for Transformation (www.hearttohard.nl, https://www.facebook.com/hearttohardhq). Whether art is being used for coaching, performance or educational purposes, Marloes includes spirituality, nature, self-inquiry and prefers to work intermodal such as with poetry, movement, and visual art.

She currently works and lives in Hong Kong where she teaches movement and academic classes at the Lingnan University, and does a PhD research focused on “movement/ performance in personal and community transformation & resilience”. She also started to mix and mingle with the local arts scene, and acted as a dancer/singer in ‘The Second Tower of Babel’, a Japanese/ Cantonese on-site dance theatre project (September 2014). Afterwards Marloes initiated a follow up project, entitled ` home’, in which she acts as a (co) art director, a dancer and a movement researcher.
Henk Kraaijeveld

Josien-de-Vries_Photography_Henk-Kraaijeveld_04-e1364904405387
Henk’s musical career started with playing the harmonium as a child, however he felt relieved to switch to the piano soon. At home and in church, ensemble singing was a natural thing to do. Still he had to overcome a career as a jurist first to find out that his heart and true talents lie in music. After studying in Utrecht and New York, he won the 2013th edition of the Dutch Jazz Vocalists Competition. Whatever role you ask him to play in TJ, he’s up for it, whether singing bass lines, warm timbered solos or tenor choir parts. Henk finds musical inspiration in Take6, Sting, U2, John Coltrane, Avishai Cohen and his fellow Junctioneers. He is always eager to get the harmonies even tighter than tight and the voices super-connected to have them blended as one blast of sound.
See also: http://www.thejunctionofficial.com/ and http://www.henkkraaijeveld.com/

Everything is looking

photo: Alaina Abplanalp photography

photo: Alaina Abplanalp photography

Happy New Year!  😀

In the first research session of 2015, Kenzo Kusuda and Thomas Johannsen will take a closer look at the central matter of live performance: that you are involved in a moment with somebody else who is looking/listening. In fact, there is no reason to perform if it is not for someone – or something – that is looking. Especially this second notion, that ‘things’ just as people are looking at you, gives a twist to researching the audience-performer relationship that we are curious to follow on this afternoon.

15 January 2015, 13:00-17:00

If you are an experienced improviser (of any discipline), you are very welcome to join us. As we would like to know who is coming, please announce yourself by writing a comment to this post.

Let us know your discipline if we don’t know you, so we get an impression of the group that will gather. See you there!

More info: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?  (click here)

 

Further thoughts on “Postponing the end”

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.

***************

Dear Johnny

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:
still
obvious
in the air
superb
boring
moving
expected
together
amazing
tired
happy
fullfilling
slow

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…

love,
weijke

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?

Continue reading

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