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Nomadism and Ethics in/as Improvised Movement Practices

Vida L. Midgelow

Published: 2012-05-08

While much dance improvisation focuses upon qualities of presence and the importance of being ‘in the moment’, a review of improvisation practices reveals a lexicon that is full of terms suggestive of territories, journeys, flows, connectivities, metamorphoses and transformations.This language, and the dance that generates it, is suggestive of temporal, physical and geographical shifts that embody underlying nomadic concepts. Drawing on my own experiences of dance, and observing dance artists such as Eva Karczag, Miranda Tufnell, Nancy Stark Smith, William Forsythe and Kirstie Simson, I seek through this article to reveal these inherent nomadisms and consider their implications for ways of being and knowing.

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Listening itself, an improvisative act engaged in by everyone, announces a practice of active engagement with the world, where we sift, interpret, store and forget, in parallel with action and fundamentally articulated with it ("Mobilitas Animi" 113).

– George E. Lewis