Presenter Information

Emily CurtissFollow

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In her book Dance Improvisations, Joyce Morgenroth wrote “Structured improvisation is a mixture of conscious choice and spontaneous reaction. It includes periods of sustained concentration and moments of unreproduceable magic.” This “magic” is what I am chasing in my choreography this year. My project in Creative Scholarship is an exploration of the ways that improvisation can be used as a tool for choreography and performance. The bulk of my research includes finding ways to use improvisation scores from the Judson Dance Theatre and other significant artists who were active choreographers in the 1960s. I am drawn toward the works of the Judson Dance Theater because of the many different styles and experiments that came from this movement, from very neutral and straightforward to eclectic and performative.

Improvisation and collaboration is a huge part of being a working dance artist today. This process has not only been beneficial to myself in helping me find my personal movement style and choreographic preferences, but it has also benefited my cast of dancers by exposing them to a variety of choreographic and improvisational tools and practices. It is a crucial skill in collaborative work to be able to follow improvisational prompts and structures and to be able to generate material, and this process has provided practice in both of those areas. This project can be considered original research because although I am using historical improvisation scores as inspiration, I am also altering them, blending them with contemporary styles, and coming up with my own improvisation scores, which are then used to inspire original choreography.

Category

Visual and Performing Arts (including Creative Writing)

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Apr 15th, 4:40 PM Apr 15th, 5:00 PM

Improvisation as a Tool for Choreography and Performance

In her book Dance Improvisations, Joyce Morgenroth wrote “Structured improvisation is a mixture of conscious choice and spontaneous reaction. It includes periods of sustained concentration and moments of unreproduceable magic.” This “magic” is what I am chasing in my choreography this year. My project in Creative Scholarship is an exploration of the ways that improvisation can be used as a tool for choreography and performance. The bulk of my research includes finding ways to use improvisation scores from the Judson Dance Theatre and other significant artists who were active choreographers in the 1960s. I am drawn toward the works of the Judson Dance Theater because of the many different styles and experiments that came from this movement, from very neutral and straightforward to eclectic and performative.

Improvisation and collaboration is a huge part of being a working dance artist today. This process has not only been beneficial to myself in helping me find my personal movement style and choreographic preferences, but it has also benefited my cast of dancers by exposing them to a variety of choreographic and improvisational tools and practices. It is a crucial skill in collaborative work to be able to follow improvisational prompts and structures and to be able to generate material, and this process has provided practice in both of those areas. This project can be considered original research because although I am using historical improvisation scores as inspiration, I am also altering them, blending them with contemporary styles, and coming up with my own improvisation scores, which are then used to inspire original choreography.