Author Archive

All Dance All Improvisation All the Time

Wednesdays September 22 and 29 there will be an open space for improvisational practice at Eden’s Expressway from 5:30- 8:30.

The idea for this came out of the Studies Project last May at La Mama on inter-generational improvisation practice.

It seemed like a good idea to create a space where improvisational practices could co-mingle and cross pollinate.

I am constantly referring back to my experiences at Open Movement at PS 122 in the 80’s and 90’s. That situation gave me an opportunity to develop my own practice up against, with, beside, in collaboration with a room full of amazing artists. I’m hoping that something like this can adapt and fit the current situation for artists interested in the evolving practice of improvisation.

So please come on by and bring your friends

Jennifer Monson- MR faculty

Orienting

I have been reading Kevin Lynch’s book, Image of the City. He is an Urban Planner and the book was published in 1960. In the appendix he has some fascinating references to orientation and navigation. Some of the most highly tuned navigational skills have developed in undifferentiated landscapes such as the flat snow covered areas of land and sea in the Arctic and the vast, dry deserts of Australia.

This capacity to find meaning and significance in the perceived shifts between land and water, fog and ocean which can appear trackless and without landmark reminds me of improvisational experience.

There is a moment of orientation when the abstraction of the destination becomes a leap of faith. Sometimes there is a simplicity to the navigation of the physical experience of moving. An image arises, that draws on the body to produce something in the space that demands a response. The system is unstable, is inventing it’s own instability as it moves along. Unfurling and carrying along the accumulated purse of sensation.

It’s the small things that become significant. But within each of those details there is an attention to the shifting map of the entire landscape, either veering wildly off course or steering directly towards the destination.

Recently I have become more disoriented. Spending more time wandering in the wrong direction, but at the same time being exactly where I am. I am curious about how this is effecting my improvisational practice.

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