Exploring Dance Improvisation’s Functionality in the Realm of Performance

Victoria Isaac, Breannah Palubiski, Halle Sivertson, Sara Silvis & Ida Lucchesi, “Exploring Dance Improvisation’s Functionality in the Realm of Performance”
Mentor: Daniel Burkholder, Dance

The purpose of our research is to examine the impact of improvisational practices on the ability for improvisational dance to be learned and performed. We define improvisation as the act of performing movement not previously rehearsed or choreographed. This movement, however, can be created within the confines of a set score. A score can consist of three elements: an agreement detailing what will happen in the improvisation, a constraint limiting what can happen, and a possibility creating a gateway for an idea to occur. When improvisational technique is introduced within movement-based institutions, there tends to be an association of the technique with a lack of structure. We incorporated the supplemental readings of various authors to create a systematic pathway of introducing and implementing this technique through a pedagogical approach, maximizing the possibilities of the mover while allowing the instructor to apply a clear and standardized method of direction. By creating scores utilizing Laban movement analysis, anatomical oriented compositions, bodily spatial relationships and the capacity of sound, we were able to create a structure of improvisation embedded in movement and kinesthetic knowledge in order to implement an accessible and calculated avenue for performance.

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