Day 2. Improvise, improvise, improvise

European Performing Arts, Performing Arts Residency

Day 2 has started with the workshop of Tanztheatre A d r i a n L o o k. The session started with some games to get warmed up which quickly got the group very excited. Then we started with improvisation techniques. First we explored movement qualities improvising on levels of movement, from floor to jumping; on sizes; on heaviness or lightness; on types of movement (swing, throw, drop, collapse)… and then put them together in a phrase. Then we watched a scene of Adrian’s last performance, The Art of Failure, which was a duet around the theme of someone asking for help and someone giving help. We then had to improvise on this same theme in duets. Two or three duets were performed for the class contemporaneously, following Adrian’s technique. It was great to see the amazing diversity of interpretations of the subject, sometimes even turning it around.Finally we used Pina Bausch creative technique in which she gives tasks to the dancers. We had to choose from a list of tasks such as “Fall out of love. Literally” or “Three pigeons sitting in a bench thinking about life” or “Create the most beautiful movement on earth and give it to someone else” or “If a fridge could speak” (referencing our kitchen fridge, Friga Kahlo, which is never silent). Again, it was very interesting to see the phrases of each person and how they worked onstage together, creating a narration even if you didn’t know what they were about.

We had lunch again provided by the cooking group of the day, in which I was included. It was very chaotic with people from different countries each having their own way of doing things and wanting to make their contribution. Still, I think we had a good result.

The creative session of the evening was very productive. Each of the groups that we had decided the day before presented some material to the others at the end of the 2 hours. The most interesting for me was seeing how each group had gone from nothing to having a piece to present, what the creative processes had been.

The first group started from a series of questions related to heritage like “How do you adapt?” which led them to the theme of Communication and from the circle position in which they were sitting and their feelings at the time which then resulted in a scene in which trust was reached through play. The second group started from the idea of “culture-cringe”, those things that had led the artists to abandon their home countries and cultures. The resulting scene was a sort of freakshow with a lot of historical weight, musical instruments and the use of many languages. The third group started from a pop-song, Michele by the Beatles, the heritage of the future, but sung in Croatian. The scene deformed this song in the passing of the burden of tradition through generations of women. In the fourth group, of which I was part, we started with some key words such as ritual, geology and oral tradition and created an improvised scene with different elements (storytelling, clapping, singing, moving) and a series of rules that guided the improvisation.


Every piece was completely different from the others and showed only a fragment of the whole creative process and the artistic heritage of each participant. This is what made them powerful. We got caught in the discussion of the impressions and the intentions behind each scene and the session went on long after 18:00.

We still had some time to get ready before dinner in the bar next to the space. We’re still getting used to Italian quantities of food so some of us took a walk after dinner around Alice Superiore. Second day of the residency has flown by!



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