Accepted Paper:

Panel discussion for all presenters "Improvisation as art: (re)creating the unexpected situation"   


Kathleen Coessens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Paper short abstract:

The last presentation session will involve all presenters for a deep discussion on the different lines which where drawn in the individual sessions. Improvisatory acts in everyday life are the result of unexpected situations. In artistic improvisation, the unexpected situation is (re)created.

Paper long abstract:

This text is just a trigger to launch a thorough discussion of 'Improvisation as art" at the end of the panel session:

Life is difficult, never the same, always challenging acquired patterns of behavior and expectation, urging the human being to improvise. Improvisatory acts in everyday life are the result of unexpected situations, where the encounter between self and environment suddenly disrupts the banal rituals of life. Over time, experience and knowledge enhance ways to cope with unexpectedness, and to 'improvise' better, or even 'less'.

In art, improvisation is often a situation of choice. The unexpected situation is created, set up, purposively leading to an improvisatory encounter between body and environment. The musician knows he/she will 'improvise' the next hour. But it can also resemble life, by way of sudden unexpected moments which the musician still did not 'set up'. Experience and expertise enhance the fluidity of improvisational acts in the arts.

Tensions between urgent action and play, loose of control and situation of choice, ethics and esthetics, humans, heroes and artists, will be explored.

The artist, like the human being in life, but now from his/her own free choice, is challenged to leave security and encounter the unexpected.

Panel P33
The art of improvisation