Aikido and Improvisation Dance Performance

Many asked me to give a workshop about this, now it is due to happen:

Using aikido principles to create instant composition pieces!

Let us know until Friday (Oct 3rd) if you would like to join:

(direct link to reserve a place, click here)

The Moment of Contact

11+12 October 2014, Berenkuil, Utrecht

aikido_moment

Aikido training has many things in common with Contact Improvisation (strong sense of centre, flow, yielding to the partner’s movement) but being a martial art, some things are decidedly different. The fact that you work with an opponent means that timing and distance are crucial. The moment of contact, or more precisely the moment just before the contact is where everything is decided.

As timing is also crucial for improvisation performers, we will spend this weekend researching timing, flow and making bold decisions (at the right time  :-) ).

​We will train our bodies to be physically and mentally “on time” by discerning between almost contact (when no real commitment is given to the moment), full contact (when there are no options anymore) and the moment of contact when for both imagination and physical reality, all options are still open.

In aikido, it is the moment where you either yield to your partner (becoming one) or pro-actively move in, creating a new situation. Therefore, it is also a moment that asks for unhesitant action. In dance improvisation we sometimes loose ourselves in the flow of movement, which in performance context can become problematic. Aikido training teaches us to combine flow with crisp choices and our openness/availability to ‘what is’ with the courage to seize the moment and make it your own.

This workshop is recommended for all physical improvisers who want to strengthen their ability to instantly compose, but also for aikido practitioners who are interested in dance improvisation. Would be exciting to have a mixed group of improvisers and aikidoka’s on this weekend!

The workshop is organised by Iris van Peppen and Dans Improvisatie Utrecht (DIU). To inscribe for the workshop, visit www.dansimprovisatie.com or write to info@dansimprovisatie.com

(full info on the workshop is hier)

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Thomas Johannsen

www.thojoh.com

Review of Genetic Choir’s “Early Years” CD

Thomas Johannsen:

Genetic Choir got noticed in the UK…

Originally posted on Genetic Choir:

There has been a lovely review of our CD on the website of “The Sound Projector“, a UK-based Music Magazine & Radio Show!

Click here to read it on the Sound Projector website, or scroll down to read below. Got curious? You can order your copy of the CD here or get it on one of our concerts.

SoundProjector label

BLUE GENES & PHONEMES

 The Genetic Choir

The Early Years 2011-2013
NO LABEL CD (2013)

It’s a tribute to a group’s confidence in their individuality and future when their debut CD earns the title Early Years,

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Interdisciplinarity + Improvisation @ T.I.M.E.

My season starts (after a pre-seasonal hype of two Genetic Choir concerts in a row in August) with guest-teaching the new equipe of Master students at T.I.M.E. in Leiden.

TIMEThis Master study is part of the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague and connected to Paul Koek’s Veenfabriek. The school is meant for interdisciplinary performers/makers of any arts discipline to study on and invent their own music-theatre (with the ever dooming question: “What is music-theatre, actually?”)

With me, they will explore how to collaborate in interdisciplinary setting and use improvisation principles as a lens through which their own training background and what they want with it will come into clearer focus.

Looking forward to it!  Teaching there in January this year was challenging and fun, and I expect nothing less of this new group of students.

 

 

 

Sharing a performance studio in Amsterdam?

I  am looking for performers of any discipline who are interested to share the rental of the studio that we are using at the moment for the Carpet Research Sessions and the development of the Interdisciplinary Improvisation Knowledge Base (improvisation.wiki) in Amsterdam.

It is a studio very close to central station and we rent it for a whole season, every Thursday from 13:00-17:00, to have it available for the Improvisation Research.

There’s a wooden dancefloor in the studio and it is very spacious and light. A pleasurable place to be.

However, the studio is only in use infrequently for this initiative, so it would be great to have a few individuals who are interested to use the studio for their own purposes every now and again (on Thursday afternoons). We were with a group of 5 performers sharing the basic costs last season, but we need some replacements.  :-)

Do get in touch with me if this sounds interesting to you and you would like to know more!

Thomas

(contact page, click here)

 

 

 

‘Secret’ Church Concert for Fans&Friends

Originally posted on Genetic Choir:

Dear Genetic Choir followers and friends,

we will be doing a recording session this weekend in the White Church of Holysloot (near Amsterdam) and we thought it would be nice to give an informal concert as part of it, on Sunday Afternoon the 25th of May.

It’s a charming little church with great acoustics and it takes about 45 minutes to cycle there from Amsterdam on a sunny afternoon. The north of Amsterdam is lush and green, so perfect for a bike ride or a stroll anyway, if you are inclined. :-)

The concert is for free (donations welcome, as we have to rent the church), but we would like to know who is coming, so please let us know through the Contact Page if you want to be there and how many people you will bring. The exact time of the concert will be communicated to those who…

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Improvisers’ blind date: Oorsprong on Monday

I was asked to curate an improvisation set for the Oorsprong Curators Series in Amsterdam and will be performing with these fine people on Monday:

Ab Baars (sax/clarinet/shakuhachi)
Marie Guilleray (vocals)
Thomas Johannsen (vocals/dance)
Johnny Schoofs (dance)
      
Where?  ‘Het Poortgebouw, 1st floor’ > Tolhuisweg 2 > 1033 AC > Amsterdam
When?   19 May 2014 / evening starts at 20:00 (sharp!) / doors open at 19:30
How much?   6 euro – for a whole evening of unprecedented improvisation line-ups!
      
The Oorprong Curator Series features only line-ups of improvisers who never  played together before.
      
OORSPRONG aankondiging editie 19 mei 2014-05

 

¿What is the Genetic Choir? A Utopian Singing Ensemble

Originally posted on vocal explorations:

¿What is the Genetic Choir? A Utopian Singing Ensemble

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There are very few vocal ensembles in the world that improvise, that compose as a collective, and that work in interdisciplinary projects.  Choirs are usually tight hierarchical structures lead by a conductor; they usually sing composed repertoire; and improvisation and composition are never part of the game. ¿Why so, if the capabilities of the voice and of individual singers are endless? And even more, ¿why haven’t more people in the world attempted to make the most out of the powers of collective singing and collective composition?

“The ambition of the Genetic Choir is to instantly compose, as a group, the music that any given moment asks for. Rather than being conducted, we want to be a choir that organises itself by the musical intelligence and intuition of all the members.” (Thomas Johannsen, leader of the Genetic Choir)

Collective improvisation, though, requires…

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