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Theoretical Explorations Module X

Nov '20

Improvisation

Improvisation

We often confuse ‘improvisation’ with an anything goes attitude. But improvisation is a discipline of informed listening, seeing, and responding, an understanding of equivalences between forms. The purpose of improvisation is not only to gain proficiency in cross-genre collaborations, but also to research and find a range of ways to add new layers to one’s own individual and collaborative practice.

This course systematically introduces participants to the history, politics, and methodology of improvisation. A practice-based component of the sessions enables students to work in subgroups, unfolding a ‘cross-disciplinary dictionary’ of terminologies that facilitates collective understanding for improvisers working with different forms, processes, and jargons. The course also analyses improvisation in the works of iconic artists such as John Cage, Phil Minton, Ariane Mnouchkine, Les Frères Zénith, and others. We aim to revisit the mythologies surrounding creativity and its supposed randomness, while consciously staying away from prescribed binaries of ‘success’ and ‘failure’.

About the Professors

Maarten Visser & Pravin Kannanur