The Grove and Ravensfield Theatre
Improvisation is a long–standing practice that is central to the processes of many performance forms with well-established practices and associated discourses. More recently the significance of improvisation has been recognised in contexts beyond the arts, including for example design, education, therapy and management, making this a dynamic and emergent field of research.
Strongly grounded in the creative arts and led by expert improvisers this event will be an opportunity to articulate and elaborate practices and contribute to the emerging critical discourses of all things improvisatory, refining understandings of creative approaches, terminologies and significances.
The day will include key note presentations, papers by leading researchers/artists, workshops, performances and open research spaces for shared creative dialogue, such that we use the modalities of the improvised (and the various practices we bring) as a way to consider the nature, benefits and problems of improvisation.
David Toop, Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation
Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom
Based on volume 1 of his forthcoming book of the same title, David Toop analyses examples of free improvisation, a musical movement originating in America, Japan and Europe. Free improvisation was a rejection of composers, the score, instructions and guidelines, a search for a collective sound created in the moment, without boundaries or restrictions. Inspired by the gestural freedom of painting and rooted in politics of the post-war period and its libertarian ideals, free improvisation was (and remains) a test of the limits and potentialities of what it is to be human.
Click here to view the University of Arts London Website
Sondra Fraleigh, Professor emeritus and Dance Artist/Writer
Themes of "Improvising Natures"
Nature is not about domination and competition
Nature is about networking and improvising
Paying attention in improvisation as somatic attunement
Ethics of attention in improvisation
Integral actions and second nature
What about habits
Awkwardness as strength
Sondra will also lead a session on improvising the chakra energy centres of the body, and there will be a Q&A dialogue at the end of the session.
Click here to view Sondra's website
Gary Peters, Professor of Critical and Cultural Theory
Naming the Void: the Language of the Improvised Event
In April 2009 I organized a day of improvisation with Dance, Theatre and Music students at York St John University. The sessions were led by myself, Vida Midgelow, Guy Dartnell, Veryan Weston, David Richmond, Beth Cassani and Rob Wilsmore. As part of the proceedings, participants were asked to reflect on the improvisation and write down their thoughts on large sheets of paper. I collected these at the end and took them away with me. This talk will revisit these 'reflections' and reflect further on the language used and its significance within the context of this conference and its concerns with the process of naming.
In the evening we have a improvised performance event, in conjunction with the Inside Out festival by: Jonathan Impett, Simon Limbrick, Ben Dwyer, Helen Kindred, Robert Vesty, Vida Midgelow, Suzanne Martin and guests.
Click here to view the York St John website
Day 1 – Friday 23rd October 2015
|13:00 – 14:00||Registration and Refreshments – Studio 3, Ravensfield|
|14:00 – 14:20||Welcome and introduction to the day – Vida Midgelow and Signy Henderson – Theatre, Ravensfield|
|14:20 – 15:30||Keynote Lecture – Gary Peters – Theatre, Ravensfield Naming the Void: the Language of the Improvised Event|
|15:30 – 15:45||Refreshment Break – Studio 3, Ravensfield|
|15.30 – 19.30||Installation - Theatre Arts Studio 2, Grove Open throughout – please book a slot |
Maria Kapsali – Switch On!: Using mobile phones for producing soundscapes through movement
|15:45 – 18:00|
Panel 1 – Chair: Benjamin Dwyer
John Dack – Composition/Improvisation and Freedom/Constraint: the 'open' form in music
Jane Carr – Disrupting the Habitus-What can be learned from the experiences of dance improvisation to inform creative models for social interactions and the identities to which they give rise?
Panel 2 – Chair: Vida Midgelow
Lee Simpson – The International Institute of Improvisation
Paul Z Jackson – Applied Improvisation Network (AIN)
Workshop – Theatre Arts Studio 1, Grove – Chair: Helen Kindred
Matilda Leyser – Permission Improbable - workshop
Theatre Arts Studio Grove 2
|18:00 –19:30||Evening Reception / Buffet – Grove Atrium|
|19:30 – 21:00||Performance – 'TIN Pieces' |
As part of TCCE Inside Out festival – Theatre, Ravensfield
Day 2 – Saturday 24th October 2015
|09:00 – 09:30||Registration and Refreshments – Studio 3, Ravensfield|
|09:30 – 10:00||Welcome and introduction to the day – Vida Midgelow and Robert Vesty – Theatre, Ravensfield|
|10:00 – 11:15||Keynote Lecture – David Toop – Theatre, Ravensfield Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom|
|11:15 – 12:15||Keynote Lecture – Vida Midgelow – Theatre, Ravensfield Everywhere and Nowhere: Dance Improvisation as (Un)Disciplinary Knowing|
|12:15 –14:00||Lunch – G230, 2nd Floor Grove Building, including 'Open Space' discussion topics|
Panel 3 – Chair: Jonathan Impett
Lisa Parsons and Angela Walton – A philosophical, pedagogical and creative insight into the notion of habit in improvisation
Steve Tromans – Improvisation contra composition: Redefining the terms of music made in performance
Anders Eskildsen – To play or not to play: Systems theoretical perspectives on the problem of agency in collective free improvisation
Workshop - Theatre Arts Studio 1, Grove – Chair: Susanne Martin Corinna Eikmeier – To improvise with an improvising Body
|15:30 –15:45||Coffee Break – Studio 3, Ravensfield|
Parallel Session – Theatre, Ravensfield
Panel 4 – Chair: Robert Vesty
Veronika Semelkova – 'Moving Knowledge'
Detta Howe – 'Sometimes''
|16:45 –17:30||Keynote Lecture – Sondra Fraleigh – Theatre, Ravensfield Themes of "Improvising Natures"|
|17:30 –18:30||Roundtable discussion with invited performers and feedback plenary – Chair: Robert Vesty|
Registration open online at our online store.
£75 (waged/ institution) and £45 (unwaged/freelance artist/student)
Middlesex Staff free attendance to conference, evening reception £15. Please register through the Online Store.
(NB. All presenters need to register)
How to get here
The conference is held at our main campus in Hendon, north London, which is located 10 minutes from the Northern Line and Thameslink rail line, both of which take you to central London in under 30 minutes.
For directions and maps please click here.
Informal inquiries can be directed to the conference conveners below:
Booking reference number: EHE1029