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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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...partly because I know that’s the only way that we could solve a creative problem [using improvisation with children ranging in abilities] and what doesn’t work is trying to impose a template on the students who are not able to respond to that template.

– Pauline Oliveros (in working with Abilities First)