Text and Improvisation

Text & Improvisation is an on-going individual research project into forms and modes of textual improvisation in performance. The research is conducted through a series of practical research, experiments and presentations, many of them solo, some of them collaborative. Each is focused through a different approach to text improvisation – specifically looking at both the content of text in performance, and aspects such as rhythm, texture and musicality. For each of the phases of this work I’m establishing different rules, constraints and tactics for working with text in the moment of improvised presentation.

 Recently I’ve been developing a formal approach to solo improvisation using cue-cards and text fragments as the basis for an improvised text performance under the title A Broadcast/Looping Pieces. The framework of this solo work is fixed – involving live selection and recombination of text fragments, looping, inventing and rewriting materials on the fly – but the specific materials change all the time, as well as the kinds of contexts in which the work is presented/reframed. Recent presentations of the work have been at KunstenFestivalDesArts (Brussels), David Roberts Art Foundation (London), Palais De Tokyo (Paris), Fondation Cartier (Paris). Forthcoming in Autumn 2014 are Hebbel Am Ufer (Berlin), Frascati (Amsterdam), Theatro Sao Luis (Lisbon), Hayward Gallery (London) and Stedelijk (Amsterdam). Meanwhile a further research phase into text and improvisations, done in collaboration with violinist Aisha Orazabayeva, will culminate in a presentation at Theatro Maria Matos (Lisbon) in November 2014 under the title Erasure. I’m in the process of working these practical investigations into more discursive framework. A conversation about A Broadcast/Looping Pieces and other recent work was published in a booklet for Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels 2014.