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improvisation

This tag is associated with 16 posts

(Dis)connecting the dots

An improvisation meeting of theatre, dance, music and more

At the end of the Carpet Sessions season, you are invited to join the exploration of an issue that is probably the biggest source of discussion in interdisciplinary art making:
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_Dots_PusteblumenThe problem is often that we don’t even know from each other what we exactly mean with all these words, while the issue itself is not so complicated, and applicable to all art disciplines:
Any artist wants his work to be readable to a certain extend, 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. Only in how to concretely create this mix is where genres and artists differ.
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 effectively?
          
On 29 May (Hemelvaartsdag), we would like to do a research session with this question in mind.
     
As especially the perceived difference between improvisation theater and improvisation dance/music is big on this issue, Anja Boorsma is inviting a group of improv actors, while Thomas Johannsen is inviting dance improvisers. We are also inviting musicians with experience from both the ‘concrete’ theatre genre and the more ‘modern/abstract’ performance genre.
Any other disciplines/improvisers who would like to participate are absolutely welcome. Just write us a comment below this post if you are interested (if the group becomes too big to be workable, we keep the option of selection).
Let’s see if we can create both crystal-clear and many-layered pieces of performance, and survive the clash to tell about it.  😀
What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?  (click here)
          
UPDATE:
There has been so many reactions that we had to make a selection. Otherwise the studio would be too crowded for what we want to do.
So the session is not open anymore, and this is the research group for the 29th of May:
         
Anja Boorsma
Esmeralda Detmers
Jurriaan Kamp
Wouter Snoei
Hans Kuykens
Ralph de Rijke
Thomas Johannsen
Annabel Garriga
Johnny Schoofs
Tanaquil Schuttel
              
We will keep you posted on our findings!
      

Review 1st open session Phrases Research

Hallo everybody,

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.

phrases40people_opening

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.

secretlifeofPhrases_opening

The secret Life of Phrases

voicemovementvoicemovemnt3

The secret Life of Phrases
An investigation into Voice and Movement

A musical phrase, just as a movement phrase are the DNA of any music/dance improvisation performance. They are building blocks, that combined create more complex structures of dance, composition, story…

And what are phrases themselves made of? Sounds, tones, rhythmical relationships in music, and for physical performers: smaller pieces of movements and the way they are pieced together in tension and timing.

Vocal Performers and Dancers lean into each others’ discipline quite often. As for a dancer the use of voice can be seen as just another layer of playing with the body as an instrument, while for a singer the way the voice is affecting the body (and vice versa) is an always present aspect of musical performance.

Working with phrasing means working on a higher level than just producing sounds or movement, which is to say that in instant composition performance, working with your voice or your body cannot simply stay a side-effect of your other, main register in which you improvise. Phrasing means articulating sound or movement in such a way that it takes on a full sense of language as we create.

We have two research questions to approach this subject of interdisciplinarity:

How to integrate voice and movement as an improvisation performer?

On individual level, how can the two registers/languages of voice and movement inform, stimulate and challenge each other in an articulated way? How can the two integrate towards one language?

How to integrate voice/sound and movement as an improvisation ensemble?

In an ensemble with dancers as well as singers, how can we integrate voice and movement into that “one language” that the ensemble speaks?

Marisa Grande and Thomas Johannsen want to combine their experience in order to explore these questions from both sides of the range. While being both multidisciplinary improvisers, Thomas leans probably a bit more towards musicianship through his vocal improvisation work with the Genetic Choir, Marisa comes slightly more from the perspective of movement improvisation through her somatic dance practice.

In the project that we propose, we would like to work with a small group of core-researchers: 4 improvisation singers / 4 improvisation dancers. At the same time, we will open up the research to any other improvisers who are interested to meet the research group and play together on two occasions: the IC practice+performance at Dansmakers.

The whole project is made of 2 Saturdays (open IC practice+performance), and in between 4 afternoons of research in the Carpet studio. Closing the project will be a performance at The Boiler Room in Utrecht and maybe other public gigs that will appear by that time.

Saturday 22 February – IC practice and performance at Dansmakers (16:30-20:00) – practice and performance open to all improvisers
Thursday 6, 13, 20, 27 March – research sessions in the Carpet studio – research ensemble only (14:00-17:00)
Saturday 29 March – IC practice and performance at Dansmakers (16:30-20:00) – practice session open to all / performance will be done by the research ensemble
Sunday 30 March (to be confirmed) – Performance in Het Huis Utrecht, in the Boiler Room series

The Carpet Sessions know a studio-costs share of 5 euro p.p. per session. Read more about the Carpet Sessions here.
The IC Practice on Saturdays knows a contribution of 15 euro p.p. per session to share the (higher) costs of the Dansmakers space. For this particular collaboration with the Carpet Research it will be 7,50 for the core group members to compensate for their bigger commitment.
(the money is solely to cover costs and any possible surplus will go to supporting the respective initiatives)

The project is a collaboration between the Genetic Choir, the Carpet Research and the monthly IC Practice in Amsterdam that has been initiated by Iris van Peppen and Marisa Grande.

As with all Carpet Research sessions, we are looking for performers with artistic maturity and capacity to contribute to the unfolding process from their own practice.

Please respond if you either just would like to be part of the process on one or both of the Saturdays, or if you would be interested to join the core group on all the dates and performances. We will select the core group to create an interesting mix of individuals.

Don’t hesitate to tell us you are interested, even if you still have date-issues to solve. Let us know and we will get in contact with you.

We are awaiting your reactions until 31st of December and will announce the research ensemble shortly afterwards.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Marisa & Thomas

The dreamer and the observer 2013

Hello everyone,

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.

more infos: What are the Carpet Sessions? / Where is the studio?  (click here)

Sylvain Meret

Structured/Scored Improvisation in January/February

This is an early announcement and call for participants for a research project I will be doing in January/February 2013, focusing on structured group improvisation. This project is part of my studies’ research on composing for interdisciplinary, collaborative improvisation groups, and it combines the composition of scores with composing in the moment through improvisation.

WHEN: This research project will happen in 3 sessions: 17th and 24th of January, and 7th of February 2013, from 13:00 to 17:00. Please note that the sessions are sequential, which means you need to commit to attending all three of them.

WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN: In these sessions, we’ll be exploring in detail just how a pre-fabricated score or set of rules can be used as a starting point for group improvisation and collaborative composition, as well as a tool for achieving connectedness between the improvisers. It is already stated in this blog’s Knowledge Base that “crisp and open interaction does not happen without a shared, transparent context,” and that “the more you have a clear picture of the context you are in, […] the more connected you will feel” with the other performers. My wish is to explore how could a score provide this very transparency and clarity of context for interaction to happen; in other words, how can a score, that is composed especially for improvisers, be designed in such a way that it conditions interaction and expression, and could become a helpful support for the sought-after precision, control and focus within an improvisation context. Can a score solve problems of performance, while subtly adding to the complexity of the improvising moment?

As a classically trained composer myself, I’m also interested in how does the role of the composer change within such a context and when facing these questions. I don’t have a particular vision or idea about what the final “product” of the sessions will be. All I know is that we will use a score as a starting point for experimentation and discussion, and that while tackling the aforementioned questions (and others that will come up during the process) a performative event will emerge out of our sessions. On the last day of the sessions we’ll be doing an informal sharing, where we’ll invite a group of friends and colleagues to come and watch, give us feedback, and discuss about our findings and process.

WHO: I encourage experienced improvisers and performers from any artistic background to sign up. As I already mentioned, it’s required that the participants commit to all 3 sessions; unfortunately I deem this necessary, because the work will be created in collaboration with the group, and it will grow based on our day-to-day work throughout the three sessions.

If you are interested please let me know by the 20th of December, so that I can then organise the group and prepare the score accordingly. You can sign up to the sessions by posting a comment below this post.

Also note that the sessions will be documented in video and audio, for archiving and research purposes. The plan is then to create a small documentary of the sessions, to be posted online as a research film and also accompany my thesis. (We’re looking for two cameramen! Let me know if you know someone.)

Normally participants of the Carpet Sessions are asked to donate a small amount, so that the rent of the studio can be covered. However, I’m looking for some funding at the moment, so maybe this cost could be paid for you. (I will keep you posted.) You can find more about the Carpet Sessions (info, address, etc) here.

This message is an early invitation to the sessions, so some things might change on the way! More info will follow in December, about the details of the research questions, the score, the group formation etc. Looking forward to your messages and participation!

ABOUT ME: I’m Kiriakos Spirou, a composer and pianist from Cyprus, currently studying Music Design at the Utrecht School for the Arts, while also doing research at Bournemouth University in the UK. You can find out more about me and my work on my blog. You can also stalk me on Facebook/kiriakos.spirou. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have via kirispirou@gmail.com, or in the comments below.

Objects and stuff in November/December

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.

22nd of November 2012 

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.

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

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.

greetings!

Thomas, Martine, Lindai