Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.

Category
content locked

Improvisation is the spontaneous invention of performance. But while it specifies a particular form, elements of improvisation are intrinsic to all performance and the quality of liveness it produces.


00:07:27
Chicken Boy
Video
A modern day metaphor for the journey of the lonely self to find peace with one's identity.
00:05:46
CoNCrEte
Video
CoNCrEte (2009)  screendance reveals how the environment affects our emotions and ever-changing lived experience. 
00:01:03
Contact Improvisation for Actor Training
Video
This video is documentation taken from a weekly contact jam session with the actors in the MFA Actor-Training program at UC Irvine. Contact Improvisation is a large part of the movement arc in the first year of actor training, and jam sessions are held weekly, integrating all three years of MFA actors.  Someone happened to video this session, and I give a brief description of our use of contact as a tool for actor training in the voice-over. 
00:04:02
Contact Improvisation for Actor Training - Movement with Text
Video
This video is documentation of an exercise with 3rd year graduate actors at the UC Irvine Actor-Training program, speaking a monologue while contacting with a silent partner. At a moment of heightened activity, the silent partner is removed, and the resulting delivery of the monologue is focused and intensely communicated. The athleticism and sensitivity of the contact created a culture of expressivity. Tenderness as well as rage and challenge emerged in the contact session and remained present in the solo monologue. So, the complexities of emotion that were embodied metaphorically and rhythmically in the extreme lifts and rolls and balances of the partnering could be seen as an emotional “rehearsal” for the solo performance. But once the partner was removed, the speaker had to reach out to us, and address each deeply felt idea to the audience in the room. No longer in a contact with the literal “other,” we, the audience, now become the necessary focus.
00:14:10
freedom (2008)
Video
Walking Gusto Productions explores the marginalised and disempowered female voices of South Africa by using the body as a “site of resistance”
00:11:01
From Starting to Cut the Wood
Video
From Starting to Cut the Wood translates the sounds of manual labor into dance.
00:30:15
Prapto Human Nature Spirit - Asset Image Thumbnail
Video
Shot at a workshop held at La Bartra, a retreat centre in the Prades mountains. Most of those present had worked with Suryodarmo for many years, and they came from across Europe to share his practice.
00:12:29
Structured Improvisation - Impro Maids - Image Asset Thumbnail
Video
Zarrilli’s Psychophysical Acting methodology focuses on the relationship between the actor-as-doer and what the actor does. It (re)examines in practice and theory a psychophysical approach to acting.
00:08:01
In Between
Video
In between researches stillness and transition, focusing on the moments, during which nothing seems to happen, but without which, nothing can happen. 
00:36:42
Interview with Siddis from Karnataka India, 2016
Video
This interview was conducted as part of the “Telling Our Stories of Home Festival” made possible by Kathy Perkins and Tanya Shields at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is about the African Diaspora in India, particularly Siddi life and culture in Karnataka, and descriptions of the arts and social conditions in the Siddi community. Also included are the personal experiences of Girija Siddi and Geeta Siddi, such as how they were able to continue their education and and how they got into Theatre. They are the first Siddi women to graduate in Theatre, which has motivated other Siddi youngsters to consider Theatre as a profession and to continue their advanced studies. In the interview they also noted that they are now living in a city, no longer within their own community. They are looked upon as strangers in Bengaluru because most of the people in the community are not aware of the Siddi people, who have been living in the same country for more than 600 years. Girija now is practicing Hindustani classical vocal music, and she is the first Siddi woman to study classical Indian music. Geeta Siddi, after her master’s in performing arts, is doing her PhD on women artists in Kannada Theatre. She has been honored by a fellowship from HRD, Government of India for her research on the Arts of the Siddi Community in Karnataka. Girija and Geeta are also the first women to travel outside of India. They were invited as international artists to participate in the “Telling Our Stories of Home Festival.” Channakeshava G is founder trustee of the Siddi Trust and the Lokacharita Trust organizations. He is a visiting teacher at NINASAM Theatre School and other institutions. He has worked with the Siddi community of Karnataka for the last 15 years and has written and directed more than 50 plays in 5 of the languages of South India.
01:19:28
Odin Teatret - Moon and Darkness - Asset Thumbnail Image
Video
In this demonstration-performance, Odin Teatret’s Iben Nagel Rasmussen shows and explains her working practice, from her training methods through to performance.
00:42:23
Prapto 1
Video
This workshop has a strong focus on voice work. It takes place on Dartmoor, in an ancient stone circle, a village hall and a garden, and illustrates Suryodarmo’s individual movement practice.
00:03:07
Sequence 1 ‘Introduction to the Narrative company’
Video
This video is an introduction to the company of Anthony Neilson’s Royal Court show Narrative in 2013: Anthony Neilson; Zawe Ashton; Imogen Doel; Brian Doherty; Christine Entwisle; Barney Power; Olly Rix and Sophie Ross.
00:18:17
Sequence 10 B ‘Onomastic authorship’
Video
This video provides a window into other aspects of Neilson’s authorial propensities via a snapshot of rehearsal room discussion concerning what to name the characters in the show.
00:02:50
Sequence 10 ‘Authorship of an audition: the Footmouse Dance’
Video
This video shows how Neilson authors and develops his script in the moment during rehearsals. This process occurs as actors Barney Power and Zawe Ashton work on a scene where Power’s character is humiliated while attending an advert audition conducted by Ashton’s maliciously bored character.
00:18:44
Sequence 11 B ‘Affective memory in operation’
Video
This video clip shows actor Zawe Ashton employing the Affective Memory rehearsal technique while running a scene with actor Olly Rix.
00:01:55
Sequence 11 ‘The Box Therapy improvisation’
Video
This video features Neilson and actors Zawe Ashton and Christine Entwisle’s work on developing a newly-written scene in which Ashton’s character attends an unconventional counselling appointment. It contains excerpts of discussion, as well as a full-length improvisation where Ashton’s head is masked by a cardboard box.
00:03:02
Sequence 12 ‘The Random Objects improvisation’
Video
This video is the first time the company run the improvisation concerning the arbitrary items found in the rehearsal space.
00:02:23
Sequence 13 ‘The actors discuss Box Therapy’
Video
In this video actors Christine Entwisle and Zawe Ashton discuss the Box Therapy improvisation.
00:07:05
Sequence 14 ‘Box Therapy in performance’
Video
In this video Anthony Neilson, Christine Entwisle and Zawe Ashton finalise the performance of the therapy session during the technical rehearsal in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court.
00:01:30
Sequence 15 ‘Perspectives on improvisation’
Video
Anthony Neilson and Brian Doherty talk about Neilson’s use of improvisation in his rehearsal process in this video.
00:11:10
Sequence 16 ‘The Human Soundscape Improvisation’
Video
In this video the whole company conduct an improvisation run by music and sound designer Nick Powell. During the improvisation the participants attempt to create a multi-layered vocal score by splicing together various random sounds articulated by individual company members.
00:03:35
Sequence 17 ‘Perspectives on Neilson’s directorial approach’
Video
Anthony Neilson, Brian Doherty and Christine Entwisle discuss features of Neilson’s methodology as a director.
00:24:35
Sequence 18 B ‘What did you expect’
Video
This video shows the similarities between the beginning and the end of Narrative.
00:01:02
Sequence 18 ‘Ask the Audience: the ending of the show’
Video
This video contains rehearsal room footage of the company discussing the idea of having some kind of audience participation as the ending to Narrative. Then the video moves to the technical rehearsal in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court, where Neilson directs a different way of concluding the show.
00:03:56
Sequence 19 ‘Perspectives on process’
Video
In this video Anthony Neilson, Imogen Doel and Sophie Ross discuss the interaction between the actor’s process and Neilson’s directorial/authorial approach.
00:06:25
Sequence 2 ‘Perspectives on the pro-filmic event’
Video
In this video the assistant director of Narrative, Ned Bennett, and actors Brian Doherty, Zawe Ashton, Sophie Ross, Barney Power and Olly Rix, discuss the effects of being filmed while rehearsing the show. Then the video moves into the rehearsal room, where Rix is running a scene from the play.
00:08:09
Sequence 20 ‘Neilson’s Motivational Speech’
Video
In this video the Narrative company have come to the end of the rehearsal period. Here Neilson discusses with the cast how the following week-long technical rehearsal will be conducted and attempts to allay any concerns they may have about the forthcoming opening and subsequent run of the show.
00:11:15
Sequence 21 ‘Changes for Press Night’
Video
This video contains footage of the note session before Press Night where Neilson introduces an entirely new scene to be performed by actors Imogen Doel and Zawe Ashton that evening. The video then shows the only rehearsal of the scene before the performance.
00:03:28
Sequence 3 ‘A different perspective’
Video
In this video actress Christine Entwisle talks about her experience of being filmed rehearsing her role in Narrative. The video then shows the impact Entwisle discusses, during the technical rehearsal in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court.
00:12:01
Sequence 4 ‘Indirect authorship: synaesthesia’
Video
Anthony Neilson considers how actors can influence the authorship of his work in this video. Then the video moves to the rehearsal room where the Narrative company throw various ideas around concerning how one of the characters being out of sync with reality can be theatrically rendered.
00:04:14
Sequence 5 ‘Revisiting the Random Objects Improvisation’
Video
This is a video of the Narrative company’s second discussion and running of an improvisation using some chance items found in the rehearsal room.
00:12:20
Sequence 6 ‘Indirect authorship: malapropisms’
Video
In this video the company and music and sound designer, Nick Powell, continue to explore the ways in which the character being out of sync with reality can be theatrically rendered. The footage then proceeds to show how this idea is audio-visually represented for the on-stage performance.
00:05:54
Sequence 7 ‘Everything feeds in’
Video
In this video Anthony Neilson, assistant director Ned Bennett and the actors Imogen Doel, Sophie Ross, Barney Power and Christine Entwisle, reflect on the tangential properties of Neilson’s authorial process.
00:03:11
Sequence 8 ‘Direct authorship: Elastic-Man’
Video
This video shows the authorial input of actor Olly Rix, as he works on a speech in the rehearsal room and then during the technical rehearsal at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court.
00:02:25
Sequence 9 ‘How the actor shapes the text’
Video
Anthony Neilson and actors Olly Rix, Brian Doherty and Imogen Doel give their views on the connection between the actor and Neilson’s authorship in this video.
00:58:20
The Bridge of Winds. International Group of Theatrical Research Led by Iben Nagel Rasmussen
Video
This film documents the work of Iben Nagel Rasmussen (Odin Teatret) with her international group The Bridge of Winds during a two-week closed work session held in December 2011.
02:01:50
Touchdown_Assetthumb
Video
Touchdown Dance, which includes commentary and analysis by Paxton, observes the experience of a visually impaired woman, Kirin Saeed, as she moves through a five-day workshop with Paxton’s company.
Commentary
by Annie Loui
Contact improvisation is a form of dance improvisation based on energy and weight exchange, incorporating elements of aikido, jitterbugging, child’s play, and tumbling
Commentary
by McPherson, Katrina
Practitioner
Actor, director, teacher, author of six books and pioneer of ‘Active Analysis’, Maria Osipovna Knebel is arguably the most influential figure in 20th-century Russian theatre, after Stanislavski.
Practitioner
Steve Paxton worked with Merce Cunningham and helped found Judson Dance Theatre. He is the inventor of contact improvisation, and continues to perform, choreograph and teach around the world.


Related Items

Practitioner
The inventor of the internationally renowned Forum Theatre system and ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’.
Practitioner
Inventor of an influential somatic and performance practice known as ‘Joged Amerta’, Suprapto Suryodarmo has taught and performed in Indonesia, Europe, Australia, the USA and India for over 25 years.
Category
Applied to theatre practice, the term ‘Laboratory’, commonly associated with Grotowski, is used to denote concentrated and consistent experiment as being at the root of the theatre-making process.