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Sound, Music and Motion: Sound Art and Music in Cross-Disciplinary Improvisation

Third International Symposium on Music/Sonic Art: Practices and Theories
Karlsruhe (IMWI), 7-8 July 2012

Sound, Music and Motion: Sound Art and Music in Cross-Disciplinary Improvisation

James Andean & Alejandro Olarte
Centre for Music & Technology, Sibelius Academy

Introduction

We are part of an artistic research group into multidisciplinary improvisation at the Centre for Music & Technology of the Sibelius Academy, in Helsinki, Finland. For the past year, we have been exploring the intersection of free improvisation in sound and dance, including issues relating to cross-disciplinary improvisation, perspectives from each discipline, general improvisation strategies, and strategies for communication and collaboration between musicians/sound artists and dancers. Through our collaborative research, we have begun to form an understanding of the differences in perspective between the two disciplines and effective strategies for collaborative improvisation and performance.
The group’s members come from a range of backgrounds and traditions. The ‘sound’ side includes instrumentalists, live electronics, and sound artists, while members on the ‘motion’ side come from backgrounds in dance, contact improvisation, and mime, as well as broader forms of expressive bodily movement. Touchstones in terms of starting perspective include free improvisation, electroacoustic music, contemporary music, sound art, contact improvisation, and new dance.

Goals

Many of the group’s members are active in the Helsinki improvisation scene, with dancers and musicians/sound artists regularly collaborating. The research group was born in part from a desire to develop and perhaps move past and over certain recurring stumbling blocks.
The group seeks:
an understanding of the differences in perspective between the two disciplines;
effective strategies for collaborative improvisation and performance;
to deepen our collaborative process;
to move past collaboration in which dancers dance ‘over’ or ‘to’ the music;
to forge a unified performance which bridges and fuses the two genres, through a sharing and fusion of perspectives, goals, and techniques;
the capacity to break down our identities as ‘musicians’ and ‘dancers’, becoming instead agents collectively expressing an idea (or web of ideas), with the fact that some are expressing this idea through sound and some through motion reduced to a semantic detail.

Working method

The group’s working method involves a very liberal interpretation of the term ‘artistic research’. The methodology is largely organic and self-organised: rather than impose a pre-determined approach or procedure, the group’s working method developed naturally through practice. The resulting method is thus experimental, practice-based, and constantly evolving.
It is arguably impossible to expect decisive ‘conclusions’ to result from this project; rather, it is an endless process of discovery. Observations, rather than leading towards fixed conclusions, instead generate new questions and directions for inquiry; results are fed immediately back into the process.
Group sessions generally begin with a free or open improvisation, without a specific theme or goal. This is followed by discussion, of both the improvisation which just took place, and of themes and ideas from previous sessions to be explored and developed over the course of the current session. This is often followed by directed exercises, specifically designed to explore in greater depth one of the themes, issues or questions raised in discussion. These exercises are then discussed and analysed; possible observations or outcomes are discussed; and any knowledge gained in this manner is then used to design new exercises, or to propose new performance strategies. These are then explored either immediately, or at the next session.

PRACTICAL SESSION ↔ DISCUSSION ↔ OBSERVATIONS ↔ NEW PROPOSALS ↔ NEW PRACTICAL SESSION

Improvisation is thus simultaneously a performance practice and a research method: the task of spontaneous collaborative creation is in and of itself an active act of exploration and research into the subject of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Music vs. sonic art

As already mentioned, the sound performers of the group include both musicians and sound artists, with many performers moving flexibly between the two. As a result, it has become possible to outline general categories of potential for communication between sounding performers and dancers, which vary somewhat between the ‘sonic’ and the ‘musical’.
First, it must be stressed that this is by no means a clear distinction, and no attempt is being made to define or delimit either term. This is simply an attempt to address two observable poles of a shifting continuum, between more traditionally musical tools and techniques, and those more commonly associated with more extended sonic practices – the use of everyday objects or found sound, for instance.
Of course, much performance will be difficult to place clearly in either camp: the use of extended instrumental techniques – scraping the piano strings, for instance – could well fall into either category, depending to a significant extent on the subtle details of shifting context. However, such detailed definition is not particularly relevant to our project, and in fact may be an undesirable, unrealistic or impossible goal. Again, we stress that we point to the ‘musical’ and the ‘sonic’ simply as broad categories of observable practice.

Sonic expression vs. musical expression

There are some broader generalisations that can be made from our observations regarding the different opportunities each of these offers in collaborative improvisation with dancers.
Firstly, musical practice could claim to be a more structured communication than sonic practice – or rather, to offer structure that is potentially more generally and intuitively recognised by non-practitioners. It also tends to be more recognisably directed or goal-oriented, and may involve a greater degree of patterning than is common in sonic practice. This can be reflected in questions of rhythm, of directed melodic movement, of pitch centre, and so on.
As a result of such qualities of patterning and direction, it can be proposed that musical practice may have a higher degree of predictability, at least in the short-term, which has certain potential for engagement from the dancers, who may now have the option of constructing their own performance according for example to an expected melodic outcome, or, in perhaps the most obvious case, according to the stable structure of a repeating rhythmic motif, pulse, or beat. Of course, this is not the sole property of the musical domain, which may avoid such patterns or predictability while remaining identifiably ‘musical’ in nature, while sonic practice can employ a number of strategies for activating similarly predictable lines or patterns.
However, it is our experience that a more traditionally ‘musical’ performance is more likely to inspire a similarly traditional relationship with the dancers. If our goal is to attempt to shake off these established relationships in search of a closer degree of collective expression, it might be proposed that an approach rooted in sonic practice may offer greater potential.
There are also more detailed aspects of sonic practice with strong potential for engagement with dancers, though this can vary significantly depending on the tools in use. One of the more effective initial methods for collaboration and communication is through a strong sense of embodiment, at any of a number of levels. For example, the use of an embodied approach to phrase or gesture from the musicians/sound artists in response to the gestures or movements of a dancer is often easily recognised, offering a degree of synchresis which communicates well, and which can be very effective in forging a performance bond between the dancer and musician/sound artist.

Use of electronics

The use of electronics by a number of members of our group opens a number of interesting issues. One of these is the potential lack of performance gesture, in the use of a laptop for instance, as the sonic performance gesture as a visual cue can be useful to the dancers on a number of levels, from identifying a given sound source among a group of performers, to offering a preliminary level for engagement. Further issues are raised by the use of samples, field recordings, or pre-recorded material in general, which for example may offer the recorded traces of a prior performance gesture or other implications of embodiment, offering a different set of possibilities for the dancer.
In general, however, the dancers find the loudspeaker to be something of a barrier, and are less comfortable engaging with the more mediated material it presents than with the performance of an acoustic performer, who is potentially more localised, whose actions may be more closely linked with their output, and who is more easily imagined as a part of a general choreography than the fixed and impersonal loudspeaker.
A final element of interest in the use of electronics is the capacity to perform sonic space, either as a central or secondary performance parameter. Conceptually this has significant potential, as the creation of space is very much a primary part of the dancers’ practice, albeit along very different lines. In early efforts in this direction, dancers have engaged with the performance of sonic space primarily as metaphors or symbols, but there may be more to be discovered here.

Sound & motion: primary differences

Primary differences between these two art forms, while seeming perhaps somewhat trivial and/or obvious, in fact can have important consequences with significant impact on cross-disciplinary improvisation.
Many of the issues our group has observed can be described as stemming from one of two primary differences (or, indeed, from both):
One is a visual art form (at least in terms of reception), while the other is auditory;
Differences in performer roles and relationships.

We will now examine some of the issues observed during our practice. It should be noted that many of these are interlinked; these are a web of intersecting issues, rather than discrete units.

Visual engagement vs. auditory engagement

Dance focuses on visual reception, while sound and music focus on aural reception. In the heat of improvised expression, there is the risk that both parties, in increasing concentration on their own expression, will begin to lose track of the other side. Musicians may forget to remain visually aware and engaged, resulting in a break in communication with the dancers as musicians retreat into sonic-only experience and communication. Dancers may be less able or less likely to forget or shut out the musicians, as auditory perception continues unabated regardless of where you turn your gaze; however, they may retreat into ‘individual agency’, potentially ignoring other modes of agency in which the musicians may be engaged.

The performer/ensemble relationship

This leads us to a further potential difference in perspective between musicians and dancers: differences in the relationship between individual performer and group. A dancer’s ‘tool’ or ‘instrument’ is his or her body, which has a clearly defined location and very visible physical and spatial limits. There is thus a tendency towards individual agency as a discrete unit, stemming from the physical and spatial limits of the body: each dancer is visibly and undeniably a single performing agent. A given agent can certainly choose to engage, communicate, or interact, and is often concerned not only with one’s own expression, but with the collective composition. However, a dancer can never completely merge or dissolve into the collective, allowing their personal contribution to be subsumed by the collective, in the manner accessible to musicians and sound artists, who are able to collectively produce qualities such as timbre or texture such that individual contributions are indivisible and unknowable – collectively speaking with a single voice. A dancer, on the other hand, no matter how close, tight, or physical the communication with another, is forever a known, visible, and finite quantity.
This results in some admirable characteristics: for example, dancers are personally, intimately tied to their output – the individual and his or her expression are one and the same. As a result, performance demands a degree of responsibility and presence from a dancer that is more easily evaded by a musician, who often expresses through an intermediary instrument, and whose direct physical engagement with the audience is less essential, or at least more distanced and mediated.
It also results in potential differences in general approach to improvisation. A key dichotomy here might be expressed as “communication/interaction vs. collective expression”: the former focuses on individual performers as independent agents, with the focus in improvisation on the interaction and communication (or lack thereof) between agents, where the latter focuses rather on a single collective expression. While the extent to which the results of these two paradigms differ varies significantly, as processes the contrast is significant, though perhaps more so in sound and music than in dance; consider, for example, the distance between call-and-response, or perhaps dialogue between performers, and the collaborative generation of a single texture or timbre.
It should be stressed, however, that this difference in perspective is not strictly between dancers and musicians; it is common to find improvising musicians who fall into each category, and indeed, most will access both of these according to the needs of the moment. However, it could be argued that the dancer’s discrete identity, as already described, might somewhat encourage the ‘communication and interaction between independent agents’ approach.

Spatial experience vs. temporal experience

Here we find a difference in approach between dancers and musicians which, while on the surface somewhat obvious, leads to potentially fascinating consequences. We realised fairly early on in our group that the dancers tend to structure their performances spatially, as ‘events-in-space’, both in creation and in recall, while the musicians tend to structure their performances temporally, as ‘events-in-time’. Thus, where musicians tend to discuss a completed improvisation according to when things took place, the dancers, on the other hand, tend to discuss things according to where they took place.
While this offers great potential for rich collaboration, it also poses certain challenges in communication and discussion, and possibly serious barriers to collaborative creation, if unity of purpose is taken as a priority.
Is this an inevitable dualism? Or, a simple translation problem? Or, must we strive to arrive at a common conception?

Experiments

A key component of the group’s efforts has been the design and implementation of simple experiments and exercises, to test or develop specific proposals or issues. A few examples of such experiments are described below.

i) Gesture
Dancer/musician pairs attempt to unify musical gesture and danced gesture, using a range of strategies:
literal: using equivalent physical gestures to produce sound and motion;
abstract: sonic arc and danced arc are matched, creating the same phrasing;
metaphoric: more interpretative, symbolic, etc.;
further strategies: embodied, narrative, abstract, coded, etc.

ii) Sounding dancers, moving musicians
A number of attempts have been made to blur the borders between the two groups, including:
exchanging roles;
integrating roles: sound-producing motion, motion-producing sound;
having musicians incorporate movement in, through, and across the space.

iii) Reenactment
Upon completion of an improvisation, performers must attempt the exact duplication of that performance.
While on the surface, the connection between this task and our cross-disciplinary theme is not clear, in practice this exercise led to valuable results. It reveals how performers structure a performance, through the points they focus upon in recall: What constitutes an ‘event’? What points are significant? Further, the collective attempt to recreate leads to mutual recognition of unifying elements, as well as opening up discussion of issues such as embodied memory, oral memory, narrative memory, abstract memory, and so on.

‘Conclusions’ – ?

As described in the discussion of the group’s methodology, no attempt is made to draw definitive conclusions. Instead, observations, rather than leading to conclusions, are used to directly construct new hypotheses. Thus, our questions don’t lead to answers; they do, however, help us to develop as a group. The impossibility of arriving at definitive research ‘conclusions’ is thereby compensated for by the knowledge we gain as performers, as improvisors, and as collaborators.

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Sound and Motion: Strategies for cross-disciplinary improvisation between musicians and dancers

Sound, Sight, Space and Play 2012: Sound and Interdisciplinary Creativity
June 6th & 7th 2012
Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester UK

Sound and Motion: Strategies for cross-disciplinary improvisation between musicians and dancers

James Andean, Andrew Bentley, Marianne Decoster-Taivalkoski, Alejandro Olarte
Centre for Music & Technology, Sibelius Academy

Introduction

We are part of an artistic research group into multidisciplinary improvisation at the Centre for Music & Technology of the Sibelius Academy, in Helsinki, Finland. For the past year, we have been exploring the intersection of free improvisation in music and dance, including issues relating to cross-disciplinary improvisation, perspectives from each discipline, general improvisation strategies, and strategies for communication and collaboration between musicians and dancers. Through our collaborative research, we have begun to form an understanding of the differences in perspective between the two disciplines and effective
strategies for collaborative improvisation and performance.
The group’s members come from a range of backgrounds and traditions. The ‘sound’ side includes instrumentalists, live electronics, and sound artists, while members on the ‘motion’ side come from a range of backgrounds, including dance, contact improvisation, and mime, as well as broader forms of expressive bodily movement. Touchstones in terms of starting perspective include free improvisation, electroacoustic music, contemporary music, sound art, contact improvisation, and new dance.

Goals

Many of the group’s members are active in the Helsinki improvisation scene, with dancers and musicians/sound artists regularly collaborating. The research group was born in part from a desire to develop and perhaps move past and over certain recurring stumbling blocks.
The group seeks:
an understanding of the differences in perspective between the two disciplines;
effective strategies for collaborative improvisation and performance;
to deepen our collaborative process;
to move past collaboration in which dancers dance ‘over’ or ‘to’ the music;
to forge a unified performance which bridges and fuses the two genres, through a sharing
and fusion of perspectives, goals, and techniques;
the capacity to break down our identities as ‘musicians’ and ‘dancers’, becoming instead
agents collectively expressing an idea (or web of ideas), with the fact that some are expressing this idea through sound and some through motion reduced to a semantic detail.

Working method

The group’s working method involves a very liberal interpretation of the term ‘artistic research’. The methodology is largely organic and self-organised: rather than impose a pre-determined approach or procedure, the group’s working method developed naturally through practice. The resulting method is thus experimental, practice-based, and constantly evolving.
It is arguably impossible to expect decisive ‘conclusions’ to result from this project; rather, it is an endless process of discovery. Observations, rather than leading towards fixed conclusions, instead generate new questions and directions for inquiry; results are fed immediately back into the process.
Group sessions generally begin with a free or open improvisation, without a specific theme or goal. This is followed by discussion, of both the improvisation which just took place, and of themes and ideas from previous sessions to be explored and developed over the course of the current session. This is often followed by directed exercises, specifically designed to explore in greater depth one of the themes, issues or questions raised in discussion. These exercises are then discussed and analysed; possible observations or outcomes are discussed; and any knowledge gained in this manner is then used to design new exercises, or to propose new performance strategies. These are then explored either immediately, or at the next session.

PRACTICAL SESSION – DISCUSSION – OBSERVATIONS – NEW PROPOSALS – NEW PRACTICAL SESSION

Primary differences

Primary differences between these two art forms, while seeming perhaps somewhat trivial and/or obvious, in fact can have important consequences with significant impact on cross-disciplinary improvisation.
Many of the issues our group has observed can be described as stemming from one of two primary differences (or, indeed, from both):
– One is a visual art form (at least in terms of reception), while the other is auditory;
– Differences in performer roles and relationships.

We will now examine some of the issues observed during our practice. It should be noted that many of these are interlinked; these are a web of intersecting issues, rather than discrete units.

Visual engagement vs. auditory engagement

Dance focuses on visual reception, while sound and music focus on aural reception. To some extent, performers in each group are thus principally engaged with different modes of output; it is easier for each group to maintain focus on their given mode of perception. As a result, in the heat of improvised expression, there is the risk that both parties, in increasing concentration on their own expression, will begin to lose track of the other side. Musicians may forget to remain visually aware and engaged, resulting in a break in communication with the dancers as musicians retreat into sonic-only experience and communication. Dancers may be less able or less likely to forget or shut out the musicians, as auditory perception continues unabated regardless of where you turn your gaze; however, they may retreat into ‘individual agency’, potentially ignoring other modes of agency in which the musicians may be engaged.

The performer/ensemble relationship

This leads us to a further potential difference in perspective between musicians and dancers: differences in the relationship between individual performer and group. A dancer’s ‘tool’ or ‘instrument’ is his or her body, which has a clearly defined location and very visible physical and spatial limits. There is thus a tendency towards individual agency as a discrete unit, stemming from the physical and spatial limits of the body: each dancer is visibly and undeniably a single performing agent. A given agent can certainly choose to engage, communicate, or interact, and is often concerned not only with one’s own expression, but with the collective composition. However, a dancer can never completely merge or dissolve into the collective, allowing their personal contribution to be subsumed by the collective, in the manner accessible to musicians and sound artists, who are able to collectively produce qualities such as timbre or texture such that individual contributions are indivisible and unknowable – collectively speaking with a single voice. A dancer, on the other hand, no matter how close, tight, or physical the communication with another, is forever a known, visible, and finite quantity.
This results in some admirable characteristics: for example, dancers are personally, intimately tied to their output – the individual and his or her expression are one and the same. As a result, performance demands a degree of responsibility and presence from a dancer that is more easily evaded by a musician, who often expresses through an intermediary instrument, and whose direct physical engagement with the audience is less essential, or at least more distanced and mediated.
It also results in potential differences in general approach to improvisation. A key dichotomy here might be expressed as “communication/interaction vs. collective expression”: the former focuses on individual performers as independent agents, with the focus in improvisation on the interaction and communication (or lack thereof) between agents, where the latter focuses rather on a single collective expression. While the extent to which the results of these two paradigms differ varies significantly, as processes the contrast is significant, though perhaps more so in sound and music than in dance; consider, for example, the distance between call-and-response, or perhaps dialogue between performers, and the collaborative generation of a single texture or timbre.
It should be stressed, however, that this difference in perspective is not strictly between dancers and musicians; it is common to find improvising musicians who fall into each category, and indeed, most will access both of these according to the needs of the moment. However, it could be argued that the dancer’s discrete identity, described above, might somewhat encourage the ‘communication and interaction between independent agents’ approach.

Spatial experience vs. temporal experience

Here we find a difference in approach between dancers and musicians which, while on the surface somewhat obvious, leads to potentially fascinating consequences. We realised fairly early on in our group that the dancers appear to structure their performances spatially, as ‘events-in-space’, both in creation and in recall, while the musicians tend to structure their performances temporally, as ‘events-in-time’. Thus, where musicians tend to discuss a completed improvisation according to when things took place, the dancers, on the other hand, tend to discuss things according to where they took place.
While this offers great potential for rich collaboration, it also poses certain challenges in communication and discussion, and possibly serious barriers to collaborative creation, if unity of purpose is taken as a priority.
Is this an inevitable dualism? Or, a simple translation problem? Or, must we strive to arrive at a common conception?

Expression over time

We have noticed certain differences in ‘expressive timespans’ for musicians and dancers. For example, more time is often required to establish a sonic or musical theme than to establish a movement or gesture as a thematic quantity. This may result in dancers exploring or moving through local-scale material more quickly than musicians. Musicians use repetition to stress or establish thematic material, while dancers are more likely to steer away from unnecessary repetition; exploration of longer term repetition in movement thus has potential as a strategy for greater integration.

Vocabulary differences, conceptual differences

Differences in vocabulary have occasionally formed obstacles, either as simple challenges in communication, or as symptoms of more significant underlying conceptual differences. Key examples include:
– ‘Composition’: the structuring of a musical performance or work, vs. the arrangement of the elements of a scene, surface, or space (referring once again to our ‘temporal vs. spatial’ dichotomy);
– ‘Theme’: a primary expressive musical unit, vs. a quality, characteristic, subject, or idea;
– terms such as ‘Engaging’; ‘leaving space’; ‘entering’; and ‘exiting’, which are symptomatic of paradigm differences between the focus on ‘performer relationships’ and ‘material relationships’, described above.

Experiments

A key component of the group’s efforts has been the design and implementation of simple experiments and exercises, to test or develop specific proposals or issues. A few examples of such experiments are described below.

i) Gesture
Dancer/musician pairs attempt to unify musical gesture and danced gesture, using a range of strategies:
literal: using equivalent physical gestures to produce sound and motion;
abstract: sonic arc and danced arc are matched, creating the same phrasing;
metaphoric: more interpretative, symbolic, etc.;
further strategies: embodied, narrative, abstract, coded, etc.

ii) Sounding dancers, moving musicians
A number of attempts have been made to blur the borders between the two groups, including:
exchanging roles;
integrating roles: sound-producing motion, motion-producing sound;
having musicians incorporate movement in, through, and across the space.

iii) Reenactment
Upon completion of an improvisation, performers must attempt the exact duplication of that performance.
While on the surface, the connection between this task and our cross-disciplinary theme is not clear, in practice this exercise led to valuable results. It reveals how performers structure a performance, through the points they focus upon in recall: What constitutes an ‘event’? What points are significant? Further, the collective attempt to recreate leads to mutual recognition of unifying elements, as well as opening up discussion of issues such as embodied memory, oral memory, narrative memory, abstract memory, and so on.

iv) Floor lines
For this exercise, lines are drawn across the floor in tape; musicians must change some element of their performance whenever a dancer crosses a line. This task provides a concrete focus to the attention and interaction between musicians and dancers, as well as adding a playful level of unidirectional control to the interaction.

‘Conclusions’ – ?

As described in the discussion of the group’s methodology, no attempt is made to draw definitive conclusions. Instead, observations, rather than leading to conclusions, are used to directly construct new hypotheses. Thus, our questions don’t lead to answers; they do, however, help us to develop as a group.
It should be stressed that our research exercises are not effective performance strategies, as they tend towards monodimensionality. Performances deemed more ‘satisfying’ tend to be those with sufficient ‘multidimensionality’: multiple levels on which interaction takes place, and a sufficient level of sophistication in this interaction. Our exercises have, however, made us better performers, by focusing on and developing specific issues.
Thus, the impossibility of arriving at definitive research ‘conclusions’ is compensated for by the knowledge we gain as performers, as improvisors, and as collaborators.

Presentation

Welcome to the Research Group in Interdisciplinary Improvisation, a project of the Arts University of Helsinki.

Beginning September 2012, the Research Group in Interdisciplinary Improvisation will bring together students and practitioners from the many fields of artistic practice represented at the Arts University, including sound, theatre, studio art (drawing, painting, etc.), performance art, dance, film/video, etc.

This project will explore improvisation at the intersection of multiple arts practices, through workshops, discussion, performances and public presentations. The focus of the group is an investigation of the theoretical and practical dimensions of improvisation: interactions and tensions between different art forms and perspectives, strategies for collective performance, understanding of the cognitive processes involved, and analytical tools.

Improvisation is an extremely important part of artistic practice for many of us, in a wide range of artistic and performative fields. These include fields more commonly associated with modes of improvisation practice – musicians, sound artists, dancers, actors, performance artists – and, increasingly, fields which have not traditionally been associated with performative improvisation – visual art, studio arts, film or video, for example. In many such fields, improvisation is becoming an increasingly visible practice – either through the opening and development of new performative and improvised aspects of the art form, or by calling attention to aspects of improvisation practice which have long been an important, but obscured, part of a given field of artistic pursuit.

However, improvisation practice is largely confined to individual art forms, focusing on the specific modes, techniques, and languages of improvisation within each given field. There is very little space for exploring improvisation as a cross-disciplinary practice, despite the enormous potential for a multi-platform exploration of improvisation as a practice, for finding common ground across artistic fields, for better understanding important differences in outlook and approach, and better collaborative practice.

The Research Group in Interdisciplinary Improvisation project will attempt to address these issues. The group combines students and practitioners from Siba, Kuva and Teak, and includes forums for discussion, as well as practical sessions for exploration and elaboration of new group practice and lines of experimentation. We combine practical artistic work with more research-oriented angles, exploring and discussing our findings in cross- disciplinary improvisation practice: Where have we found common ground? Where do we find significant differences in perspective, or challenges in improvised communication? How can these be explained? Are there any broader implications, extending beyond the scope of improvisation practice?

But, perhaps most importantly of all, it provides a forum for us to collaborate, perform, and improvise together.

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