Category Archives: Improvisation

Call for Proposals: Thinking Touch in Partnering and Contact Improvisation conference at University of Malta

The Department of Dance Studies, School of Performing Arts, University of Malta, in collaboration with Contact Festival Dartington in Malta, invites contributions for its upcoming conference:

Thinking Touch in Partnering and Contact Improvisation

Artistic, Philosophical and Scientific Approaches


Thursday 30 June 2016

Dance Studies Studios, San Gwann,

School of Performing Arts, University of Malta 


Proposals deadline 4 May 2016.

Acceptance will be communicated by 6 May 2016.


The Dance Studies Department of the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta is pleased to host a one-day conference focusing on artistic, philosophical, and scientific approaches to touch, contact improvisation and partnering work. The conference is linked with Contact Festival Dartington in Malta 2016, an 8-day event offering a platform for sharing contemporary practices of contact improvisation through workshops, performance, jamming, and open space labs:


For this first Dance Studies conference in Malta, we focus on the thought processes and knowledges of touch as enacted in partnering practices within martial arts, bodywork, therapies, medicine, and dancing.  Partnering, in its many forms, comprises a wealth of knowledges in social, physical and artistic practices. While the performing arts often tap into these forms as compositional resources, touch-based creative play within the areas of social dance, community work and contact improvisation are relatively under-explored areas for study. Organisers welcome contributions which speak to this gap and address the cognitive, philosophical, somatic, compositional and pedagogical processes which inform thinking/ knowing touch in partnering.



Conference keynotes are:


Dr Corinne Jola, cognitive scientist and choreographer, Abertay, Scotland


Ms Lucia Walker, Alexander Technique teacher, Oxford, UK and Durban, SA



The organisers welcome reflective and critical presentations, papers, performances framing practice-as-research, lecture demonstrations and posters addressing the following themes:


  • What thought processes and knowledges are particular to partnering practices, and how might these be understood in relation to performance philosophy?


  • What is embodied knowledge of anatomy, of physicality, and of working with the body in partnering work? How is this quantified and articulated in 21stCentury practices?


  • How are understandings of touch as developed in martial arts applied to partnering and contact improvisation, and vice versa?


  • How are emerging medical understandings of the body (such as mirror neurons and hormones) informing practices of touch in dance, and how might these partnering practices inform medical studies?


  • How can touch offer non-logocentric modes for critical engagement with artistic and philosophical work?


  • What qualities are particular to partnering and contact improvisation practices in the 21stCentury and how do they lend themselves toward research in cognitive studies? What are key methods of cognitive studies in the 21st Century and how do they lend themselves toward research in dance practices?


  • What are possible futures of dance partnering and contact improvisation for the 21stCentury? How might digital interfaces offer new directions for partnering?


  • How can partnering and touch-based partnering practices be recorded, documented and archived, and what are the implications for this within different fields of research?


  • What can students and researchers of medicine, architecture, engineering or psychology learn from partnering and contact improvisation? What are the applications to cross-disciplinary enquiry?


  • How can partnering dance forms impact participants’ health and well-being?


  • What kinds of scores for practical engagement elicit different responses in practitioners and audiences?


  • How do pedagogies of touch-based bodywork, contact improvisation and partnering dance challenge or affirm diverse theories of learning?


  • How do new technologies convey touch across digital media? How might posthumanist discourses inform how we are now feeling and being felt differently?

Please submit your proposal in the form of a 250-word abstract and 100-word biography to by 4 May 2016. Please include any technical requirements in your proposal, noting that remote presentations can also be considered. Selections will be made and speakers confirmed by 6 May 2016. The organising committee aims to coordinate publication of conference proceedings into an online open-source format.

Conference co-organisers are Dr Malaika Sarco-Thomas and Dr Brandon Shaw, of the Dance Studies Department at University of Malta. Questions can be directed to Malaika at the above address, and to

Walk of Life Non-stylised and Environmental Movement Workshops  with  Helen Poynor in 2016 

Movement Ritual Explorations  February 20th – 22nd

An in-depth introduction to Anna Halprin’s Movement Ritual.
Grounded in an holistic approach to the body this fluid sequence of
floor movements deepens kinaesthetic awareness, encouraging flexibility
in the spine and enlivening the whole body. It can be used as a daily
practice, a warm up or workout, a physical meditation and a springboard
into creative movement.

Price: £95 two days, £135 three days (£80/
£110 concession)   Location: Branscombe, East Devon.

Awakening   March 12th – 13th including Sumarah meditation

cleaning for body and soul, heart and lungs, blood and breath. Arriving
in yourself, laying the foundation for the rest of the year.  Each day
includes indoor and outdoor movement sessions with Helen and Sumarah
meditation with Beate Stühm, experiencing how Sumarah relates to and
supports this approach to movement practice.   Price: £100 (£85
concession)  Location: Charmouth, near Lyme Regis.

Wild Women, Rocks
and Water  April 8th – 10th

Moving with the wild spring tides as
they reveal the hidden landscapes beneath the chalk cliffs at Beer
Head. Feeling the movement of the tides and the energy of spring
coursing through your veins.  Discovering courage and strength, trust
and surrender.    Price £140 (£110 conc)   Location: Branscombe, East

Summer Seas and Skies  June 4 th – 5 th

Finding our place in
the vast coastal landscape, between cliff and sea, earth and sky,
microcosm and macrocosm.  In the spaces between rock and bone, in the
movement of water and breath, a world of possibilities is revealed.
Price: £95 (£80 concession)    Location: Charmouth, near Lyme Regis.

Walk of Life Summer School  July 5th – 8th

An opportunity to immerse
yourself in four days of movement practice. Encountering earth, rock,
sea and sky through flesh, bone, blood and breath.  Responding to
change and stability with movement and stillness, flexibility and
strength.   Opening to the unexpected.  A chance to deepen and renew
your practice.

Price: £175 (£145 concession)  Location: Beer, East

The Art of Being in Motion including Feldenkrais with Shelagh O’
Sept 30th- Oct  2nd   Fri 2.30pm to Sun 5.30pm

A dynamic
collaboration interweaving Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement
lessons with non-stylised movement explorations. The subtle
kinaesthetic investigations of the Feldenkrais Method® enrich creative
expression revealing new possibilities for an embodied encounter with
rock and water, earth and tree.

Price: £135 (£105 concession)
Location: Charmouth near Lyme Regis.

Autumn Reflections   October 29th – 30th

The beauty of the autumn trees supports us to shed what we
no longer need, moving with change, loosening habits and
preconceptions. Opening our hearts as we surrender to the earth and the
wisdom of the ancient trees we re-discover our gound, our place between
earth and sky.

Price: £95 (£80 concession).  Location: Charmouth,
near Lyme Regis.   Tel: 01297 680155

Save the Date! Dance Improvisation: the estranged cousin | Sally Doughty (UK) | Saturday 12 March

Dance Improvisation – the estranged cousin
Hosted by Sally Doughty (UK)

Saturday 12 March 11AM – 7PM
Attenborough Arts Centre, Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 7HA

Dance improvisation is an established and commonly used practice for generating movement material in rehearsal and performance. It is also considered to be a ‘dirty word’ in certain circles.

This one-day symposium of provocations and performances is aimed at artists, academics and producers. It will address a range of issues concerning the status and perception of contemporary dance improvisation, including the reluctance to programme within mid-scale venues and risky aspects of improvised work, from the perspectives of artist and producer. The day includes a keynote presentation from American scholar and dance artist Kent De Spain, contributions by Sally Doughty and Vida Midgelow, and offers an open space for dialogue and sharing.

Tickets for this event are FREE but booking, when open, will be essential. Keep an eye on the Dance4 website to see when you can book tickets for the event. You can register your interest by emailing

Suitable for 18+

Presented by Dance4 in partnership with Sally Doughty. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England with support from De Montfort University.

DR@FT Open Forum 2 at Falmouth

Open Forum II

 One must continually make and continually fail in order to create’

O’Gorman & Werry, Performance Research, Vol 17:1

Wednesday 17th February 2015 6-8.30pm

AMATA Production Space from 6pm

Sharing in studio B

Evening will feature presentations from staff and research students on current research relating to dance and performance and improvisation.


  • Kuldip Singh Barmi, Jana Bitterova & Oak Matthias: Practice no 93 performers in space directed by the present moment.
  • Rosie Enys: Research as improvisation: exploring spaces of (dis)comfort and (un)certainty
  • Frankie Williams: Total Decoy: on the subject of the gesture of looking away in the modalities of embarrassment, mis-attention and failure in performance related art practice. 


There will be time for questions after each presentation and continuing to respond to the research theme of Creative, Connected Communities, the open discussion will follow the presentations by discussing the broad notion of failure as acreative resource with the following questions as starting points:

  • How can improvisation, mis-performance and discomfort be an explicit part of making and performing processes within a rhetoric of community that only celebrates success?
  • What happens in performance making and doing when things go ‘wrong’? What happens when we are not looking, not paying attention, when things do not go to plan?
  • How can creative failure be embraced as a positive quality in institutional contexts and create a climate that values research over outcome?

Yes! Drinks & nibbles ARE provided, please RSVP for catering purposes:

Convener: DR@FT Dance Research at Falmouth

TIN Pieces (Inside Out Festival) and ‘What’s in a Name?: Improvisation Symposium

“TIN Pieces”
An improvised performance event
Ravensfield Theatre
Middlesex University

Friday 23rd October
Part of The Cultural Capital Exchange Inside Out Festival and ‘What’s in a Name?’Improvisation Symposium (Oct 23rd & 24th, Middlesex University) 

You can book for the full symposium or to attend only Tin Pieces.

If you would like to book for one day only of the symposium please email:

More about ‘TIN Pieces’

‘TIN Pieces’ is a playful evening of improvised performance by members of the TransDisciplinary Improvisation Network (TIN) based at Middlesex University and their guests.

Exploring processes of instant composition, within and across dance, music and theatre the event promises to be a lively celebration of all things spontaneous. The evening is shaped through a chain like structure in which ‘scored’ improvisation pieces are linked by open ‘riffing’ spaces alongside interactions with the audience, who will have opportunities to shape the emerging improvisations.

Including world class performers in Music (Ben Dwyer, Garth Knox, Jonathan Impett and Simon Limbrick), Dance (Susanne MartinJovair Longo, Helen Kindred)  and Performance (anthologyofames collective), TIN pieces emerge from shared interests in improvisatory processes and play, feedback loops, fear and vulnerability, touch and embodied knowing.

TIN Pieces is FREE and suitable for a wide audience. 

Ravensfield Theatre
Middlesex University London
The Burroughs,
NW4 4BT – Map

Improvisation Symposium 23rd-24th October, Middlesex – Programme

(TIN) TransDisciplinary Improvisation Network presents What’s in a Name?

 23rd – 24th October 2015


Improvisation is a long–standing practice that is central to the processes of many performance forms with well-established practices and associated discourses. More recently the significance of improvisation has been recognised in contexts beyond the arts, including for example design, education, therapy and management, making this a dynamic and emergent field of research.

Strongly grounded in the creative arts and led by expert improvisers this event will be an opportunity to articulate and elaborate practices and contribute to the emerging critical discourses of all things improvisatory, refining understandings of creative approaches, terminologies and significances.

The event will include key note presentations, papers by leading researchers/artists, workshops, performances and open research spaces for shared creative dialogue, such that we use the modalities of the improvised (and the various practices we bring) as a way to consider the nature, benefits and problematics of improvisation.
Programme (Subject to change): 

Day 1 – Friday 23rd October 2015

13:00 – 14:00          Registration and Refreshments – Studio 3, Ravensfield

14:00 – 14:20          Welcome and introduction to the day –

Vida Midgelow and Signy Henderson –
                                    Theatre, Ravensfield

14:20 – 15:30          Keynote Lecture – Gary Peters – Theatre, Ravensfield
  Naming the Void: the Language of the Improvised Event

15:30 – 15:45          Refreshment Break – Studio 3, Ravensfield

15.30 – 19.30         Installation – Theatre Arts Studio 2, Grove 
                                     Open throughout – please book a slot 
  Maria Kapsali – Switch On!: Using mobile phones for producing  soundscapes through movement
15:45 – 18:00          Parallel Sessions: 

                                   Theatre, Ravensfield 

                                  Panel 1 – Chair: Benjamin Dwyer
  John Dack – Composition/Improvisation and Freedom/Constraint: the    ‘open’ form in music
  Jane Carr – Disrupting the Habitus-What can be learned from the experiences of dance improvisation to inform creative models for social interactions and the identities to which they give rise?  
                                Panel 2 – Chair: Vida Midgelow

  Lee Simpson – The International Institute of Improvisation

  Paul Z Jackson – Applied Improvisation Network (AIN)

                                Workshop – Theatre Arts Studio 1, Grove – Chair: Helen Kindred

  Matilda Leyser – Permission Improbable – workshop


18:00 – 19:30          Evening Reception / Buffet – Grove Atrium

19:30 – 21:00          Performance – ‘TIN Pieces’ 
  As part of TCCE Inside Out festival – Theatre, Ravensfield

(nb. this performance can also be booked separately at Inside Out Festival)

Day 2 – Saturday 24th October 2015

09:00 – 09:30          Registration and Refreshments – Studio 3, Ravensfield

09:30 – 10:00          Welcome and introduction to the day

Vida Midgelow and Robert Vesty                               

                                    Theatre, Ravensfield

10:00 – 11:15          Keynote Lecture – David Toop – Theatre, Ravensfield
                                      Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom

11:15 – 12:15          Keynote Lecture – Vida Midgelow – Theatre, Ravensfield
                                      Everywhere and Nowhere: Dance Improvisation as (Un)Disciplinary


12:15 – 14:00          Lunch – G230, 2nd Floor Grove Building, including ‘Open Space’ discussion topics

14:00 – 15:30          Parallel Sessions 

                                   Theatre, Ravensfield 
                                  Panel 3 – Chair: Jonathan Impett

      Lisa Parsons and Angela Walton – A philosophical, pedagogical and creative insight into the notion of habit in improvisation

      Steve Tromans – Improvisation contra composition: Redefining the terms of music  made in performance

  Anders Eskildsen – To play or not to play: Systems theoretical perspectives on the  problem of agency in collective free improvisation

                                   Workshop – Theatre Arts Studio 1, Grove – Chair: Susanne Martin
   Corinna Eikmeier – To improvise with an improvising Body

15:30 – 15:45          Coffee Break – Studio 3, Ravensfield

15:45 – 16:00          Parallel Session – Theatre, Ravensfield 

                                    Panel 4 – Chair: Robert Vesty

  Veronika Semelkova – ‘Moving Knowledge’

  Detta Howe – ‘Sometimes’

16:45 – 17:30          Keynote Lecture – Sondra Fraleigh – Theatre, Ravensfield
  Themes of “Improvising Natures”

17:30 – 18:30          Roundtable discussion with invited performers and feedback plenary  – Chair: Robert Vesty

18:30                       Conference Close 

Registration open at our Online Store.

 £75 (waged/ institution) and £45 (unwaged/freelance artist/student)

Middlesex Staff free attendance to conference, evening reception £15. Please register through the Online Store.

(NB. All presenters need to register)

If you wish to join the conversation on social media, we’d like to suggest the hashtag #TINconf15.

How to get here

The conference is held at our main campus in Hendon, north London, which is located 10 minutes from the Northern Line and Thameslink rail line, both of which take you to central London in under 30 minutes.

For directions and maps please click here.


Informal inquiries can be directed to the conference conveners:
Vida Midgelow:
Helen Kindred:

Event times: 

Friday 23rd October: 13.00pm – 20.30pm
Saturday 24th October: 09.00am – 17.00pm
Registration & Refreshments: Studio 3, Ravensfield Theatre
Venue: Middlesex University, The Burroughs, London, NW4 4BT – Map
Join the conversation on social media, @TINConference15, hashtag #TINconf15.

Two Vacant Teaching Positions at Den Danske Scenekunstskole



The Danish National School of Performing Arts Copenhagen – Denmark

Application deadline:
19 October 2015

The Dance and Choreography education at The Danish National School of Performing Arts Copenhagen is hiring two teachers in the field of dance technique, improvisation and somatic practices.
The teachers will be employed within the competence area of Bodily movement and Expression and mostly teach at the education for Contemporary Dance and Choreography, but teaching at other educations (eg. acting) can also be included.
The positions, which are in close collaboration with the Head of Education, focuses specifically on the development of the skills and competences of the students within one or several of the following areas:

• Improvisation
• Contemporary dance technique
• Somatic practices

The applicant is not expected to cover all three areas and shall in the application state in which areas the applicant has expertise.
The School is in the process of developing a bachelor and master structure over the next three-five years.


• Teaching at the current four-year education in Contemporary Dance and Choreography (soon to be a three-year education in dance and choreography).
• Coordination with the study administration in regards to pedagogical activities of the Dance and Choreography education.
• Supervision and coaching of the students both individually and in group.
• Rehearsal direction and coordination with the production office in regards to production activities of the Dance and Choreography education.
• Assistance with the organization of examinations and evaluations.
• Participation in artistic and pedagogical and artistic development together with colleagues in the program as well as the School in its entirety.
• Collaboration in the development of future teaching modules at the BA and MA level in the competence area of Bodily movement and Expression.
• In a longer perspective: artistic research projects (with reservation on resources).
• Teaching and development within the other educations at the School.


• Extensive artistic experience at the highest professional level within the field of Contemporary Dance.
• Knowledge of contemporary dance as subject – its history and development in techniques and working methods.
• Solid experience of teaching activity on the highest international level.
• Ability and willingness to engage in close collaborations with colleagues and students and contribute actively to creating a vibrant School of Performing Arts.
• Willingness to experiment with teaching methods.
• Solid administrative and logistical experiences, preferably within a complex organization.
• Good abilities to collaborate with different professionals and personalities within an organization.
Experience with and a desire to work inter-disciplinarily would be valued.
For further information about the position please contact the Head of Dance Education Rasmus Ölme or Centre Leader Ralf Richardt Strøbech at .


The workload will be defined in negotiations with the applicant but will be between 50-70%, which equals from 18,5 to 25,9 hours/ week. Please note that the working hours are not necessarily placed weekly but can be organized in more and less intensive periods during the school year.
The position begins on January 1st 2016 and is a time-limited three-year contract with the possibility of a three-year extension.
The contract will be made on an individual basis and salaries will be fixed in compliance with the Danish Ministry of Finance’s regulation of June 22nd, 1994, in which the starting salary is between 12.109,42/16.952,60 DKK per month (18,5 to 25,9 hours per week) and the final salary is 16.089,79/22.525,71 DKK per month (18,5 to 25,9 hours per week).
It is not possible to pay relocation costs if you have to move to Denmark. The teacher refers to the Centre Leader of the Centre for Acting and Dance.


Upload your application, CV and relevant enclosures via Ledige stillinger no later than Monday 19th October 2015 at 23.59hrs. Applications received after this date will not be taken in to consideration.
Please note that the applicant should mention in which of the three areas – improvisation, contemporary dance technique and somatic practices – the applicant has expertise.
Applicants invited for an interview should be prepared to teach a master class for the school’s 3rd year students. Interviews and master classes will take place in week 47 from Monday 16th of November to Friday 20th of November 2015. Travel expenses and accommodation for this will be covered.
All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply for the position, regardless of age, gender, religious affiliation or ethnic background.

ABOUT Den Danske Scenekunstskole – The Danish National School of Performing Arts

The Danish National School of Performing Arts offers educations within all aspects of performing arts. The approximately 212 full-time students work in an inter-disciplinary study environment where they have the possibility to deepen their knowledge and skills within their area of specialization and participate in inter-disciplinary projects, productions and performances.
The school also offers continuing education possibilities focused towards the professional arts environment.
More information regarding the Danish National School of Performing Arts, the educations and students is available (in Danish only).

What’s in a Name?: Improvisation Symposium – Registration Open

(TIN) TransDisciplinary Improvisation Network

An international research group for improvisation

Middlesex University

School of Media and Performing Arts, London


What’s in a Name?

Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th Oct, 2015

You are invited to join us for a symposium investigating improvisation across disciplines.


Improvisation is a long–standing approach that is central to the processes of many performance forms with well-established techniques and practices. More recently the significance of improvisation has been recognised in contexts beyond the arts, including for example design, education, therapy and management, making this a dynamic and emergent field of research.

Strongly grounded in the creative arts and led by expert improvisers this event will be an opportunity to articulate and elaborate practices and contribute to the emerging critical discourses of all things improvisatory, refining understandings of creative approaches, terminologies and significances.

The event will include key note presentations, papers by leading researchers/artists, practical workshops across disciplines, performances and open research spaces for shared creative dialogue, such that we use the modalities of the improvised (and the various practices we bring) as a way to consider the nature, benefits and problematics of improvisation.


Guest Key Note Presentations:

David Toop, Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation  –

David Toop is a composer/musician, author and curator based in London who has worked in many fields of sound art and music, including improvisation and sound installations. He has recorded Yanomami shamanism in Amazonas, appeared on Top of the Pops, exhibited sound installations in Tokyo, Beijing and London’s National Gallery, and performed with artists ranging from John Zorn, Evan Parker, Bob Cobbing and Ivor Cutler to Akio Suzuki, Elaine Mitchener, Lore Lixenberg and Max Eastley. He has published five books, including Ocean of SoundHaunted Weather, and Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener, Currently writing Into the Maelstrom: Improvisation, Music and the Dream of Freedom.

Sondra Fraleigh, Professor emeritus and Dance Artist/Writer –

For more than 30 years, Professor Sondra Fraleigh has been a leader in the study of movement and dance combining integrative bodywork, philosophy and meditation. Her work is informed by her certification in the Feldenkrais® Method and CranioSacral Therapy – as also her study of Myofascial Release, Effective Communication, Japanese Butoh, Yoga, and Zen meditation. Her innovative choreography based in somatics and inspired by butoh has been seen on tour in America, Germany, India, the UK, and Japan. She has published seven books and countless articles on dance and movement, philosophy, somatics, and developmental psychology.

Gary Peters, Professor of Critical and Cultural Theory –

Gary’s main research is in the area of continental philosophy and aesthetics from Kant to the present. This often overlaps with certain areas of pedagogical research as well as a range of art practices (from music and the performing arts to visual art and literature).   He is also a musician composing and performing music in a wide range of genres, from jazz to country music and virtually everything and anything in between.
Gary is currently working on a book entitled ‘Improvisations on Improvisation’ to be published by Chicago University Press and working on a piece on Dance, Habit and Improvisation for another Oxford Handbook on Dance and Improvisation to be edited by Vida Midgelow.

Improvised performance event, in conjunction with the Inside Out festival ( by: Jonathan Impett, Simon Limbrick, Ben Dwyer, Helen Kindred, Robert Vesty, Vida Midgelow, Suzanne Martin and guests


Register Here 

Registration fees:

£75 (waged/ institution) and £45 (unwaged/freelance artist/student)

Registration includes all events, refreshments, meals and an evening wine reception.

All presenters need to register

If you have any questions about registration / the venue etc please contact Mita Vaghji:


Inquiries can also be directed to the conference conveners:
Vida Midgelow:
Helen Kindred: