I attended many improvisation classes at DOCK 11 Dance school in the six days I spent in Berlin and stumbled across this Improvisation festival:
In an evening performance I saw:
Christiane Hommelsheim – Voice
Josephine Evrard – Dance
followed by another piece by
Audrey Chen – Voice/ Cello
Valentin Tszin – Dance
This was a great way to see how improvised sound and movement could combine and how the process of improvisation works. In the evening talk I learnt a lot about how the artists became interested in improvisation - most of them had trained classically and then found that there was something missing in their practice and then used their classical skills in a more acquired style. It was useful to see how long improvisations typically go on and to see other audience members engage with it. It's energy reminds me of that of an installation where the audience become a maker of the piece also, which here is true because the performers make decisions based on the people in the space. I found that it had a different time frame to the more traditional theatrical time structure and progression; It's a lot more exciting when progression happens as you share the moment with them.
There was also an interesting relationship between the 2 improvisers - they bounced off each others energy and you could tell their stage awareness was being challenged. Also, the performers said that most of their preparation was done alone and then brought together in the last few stages of rehearsal - this reminded me of Merce Cunningham and John Cage's happenings and experimental performances in the 1950s and 60s. The space which they used was a beautiful hollow derelict hall with seating, which had very good acoustics and an energy of its own that they could really respond to and incorporate into their performance. This has influenced me to write scores for both music and dance separately and put them together close to performance.