written by phaedranajones ©2014
all quotes, except for one, from an interview on creativity with PHADROID
FROM CHOREOGRAPHY TO IMPROVISATION
Improvisation is rarely explored as a form or message of its own – as a presentation born on stage to be received by an audience.
Yet improvisation of any form at its best appears to write itself instantaneously as a structure of its own, that the mind would take a significantly longer time to design or conceptualize. It also does not come to be retained or repeated. It comes to be experienced; and it creates itself from the building blocks inherent in that particular time-space coordinate.
Your perception is the tip of the record’s needle spinning forward.
Improvisation at a level that is presentable demands an outrageously time-consuming learning curve and there are no external guidelines set, nor light shown or promised. Interestingly the core praxis of improvisation appears at its most conducive with no external guidance. Falling off on either side of that thin line where creativity is its own genius is inevitable in order to get acquainted with our relation to it.
It is the forever open-ended dare of an elusive inner matrix that comes to meet those who walk the dark path of an inexplicable inner drive that has no logical explanation only as it shows itself in fragments over an extended period of time and only to those who keep showing up comfortable with not knowing.
When sense is placed aside the lid is blown off; and if our presence is still complete what may transpire is more than what we could imagine or plan for. It’s in those moments that I begin to allow myself to believe that being out of (the mind’s) control can be just as much if not more a blessing as being in control. I, or the ‘I’ that I know, does not ‘create’ magic. It allows magic through. And for that there are no rules to make up prior; it is a state of being where we are of no importance.
Technique is a foundation that artists depart from. Placing emphasis on improvisation does not and should not mean lack of technique, nor does it mean taking technique for granted – although technique may temporarily be abandoned in order to create empty space for something else to emerge. The rigorous practicing of any codified system may provide as well as refine foundational elements that creativity may then work through according to its own design.
Technique is a means of executing refined forms according to the prescribed vocabulary and grammar of an established system in order to convey a message or express an aesthetic purpose. Improvisation, on the other hand, is an exploration of where the message comes from as an open-ended dialogue – an allowing of expression, giving way for an inherent structure to define itself in motion.
“There is a place inside of us all where the silent witness dwells … where the local mind gives way to the non-local mind. Our inner dialogue gives us that kind of bright power because it is, in fact, the inner dialogue of the conscious energy field.
As it is synchronized in the non-local intelligence field, it takes on the power that emanates from that boundless force. With self-power, identity comes from listening to the true self, and power comes from the internal reference of spirit.”
We know it is possible to choreograph and produce a dance piece through a creative process that stretches out to weeks or months of physical as well as intellectual and emotional, highly dedicated collaborative work.
The question that arises: does presenting a creative product of the past inadvertently take away something from the act or inherent gift of being present?
Through our work we have recurrently witnessed improvisation at its best be of a higher complexity than what the mind of the improviser would, realistically, be able to construct – given that, perhaps, it comes from a place potentially higher than the construct of the mind itself.
The questions that arise: how long can it be engaged, is its audience affected, and whom do we credit for it?
… ultimately, how many bodies do we ‘have’, how many layers to our mind? what else is working through us that is higher than the mind? where does the mind end and something else begin? does the body recognize the soul more than the mind, given that it is more instinctual than intellectual by nature? is the mind’s carefully assembled creation or the body’s raw spontaneous expression more real? what is real to begin with?
 quote from ‘SynchroDestiny’ by Deepak Chopra (2003, Rider) p.200