Improvising is something that feels incredible to get into when you are in a group, but alone it seems almost IMPOSSIBLE which poses some problems when creating alone... I have found it helps to film the improvisation, but I then still find it extremely difficult to push myself and turn off my judgmental brain as I am constantly wondering which state to try next. The element of surprise is lost which is a shame, but I love the idea that after an hour an a half improv there could be just 2 or 3 wonderful moments to expand upon.
Key points to note
As most people do, I have a bank of moves that crop up over and over again regardless of the character I am exploring. To watch back these improvisations is a great way to find new moves that are still your own and very organic, but that aren't just the 'go to'. I found this very useful when creating my interim solo and final group piece, as I didn't want to become 'predictable Katie' but to surprise myself in the direction I took my work.
Unsurprisingly this has yet to be caught on camera. Watch this space!
Let's start at the beginning...
The lessons I learnt at the very beginning of the course are becoming a key part of my artistic process whether I am creating for myself, with an ensemble or even teaching children. If I am creating work that doesn't seem to be going anywhere I now know it's probably lacking a state, quality or intention. So I look back to these lists and work on incorporating a specific state, quality or intention (or perhaps a mixture of them all if I am feeling adventurous!) onto the choreography or character I am working on in the simplest and clearest way possible which is usually to start with the basics and layer more up after.
1. MENTAL STATE
scared, confused, in love, sad, happy, excited, guilty, anxious, jealous, depressed, surprised, manipulated, confident, calm
2. PHYSICAL STATE
ticklish, twitchy, need the toilet, shivering, horny, hungry, hot, tired, nauseous, in pain, numb, itchy
3. 'AS IF' QUALITY
melting, on fire, helium balloon, glass, under water, flying, stone, old person, no weight, tight, dead, heavy, wood, made from string
walk forward, protection, seduce, patronise, bully, take off clothes, to amuse, to scare, be silent, grab attention, hide, to be liked, to lift
When I am adding these instructions, whether for myself or someone else, it's good to remember the clearer the better. For example 'playful' isn't very clear, but 'childish' is clearer. Also 'caught in the rain' doesn't work so well because it's an outside entity so doesn't directly influence your movement like 'out of breath' does.