Improvisation—deciding what to do or not do in the moment—is an integral part of a dance or piece of performance art. Improvisation is often used as a tool to create material for choreographed dance pieces; however, improvisation is a powerful art and mode of performance in and of itself. The revolutionary work of New York City’s Judson Church Members and other experimental theater initiatives, whose art was based on improvisation in the 1960s, reintroduced this form in such a powerful way that it is now common for dancers worldwide to participate in improvised dance structures and performance events throughout their dance careers. Improvised performances, or “happenings,” can be incredibly engaging for their viewers ... or not. This element defines part of its significance in the world of the performing arts—it is not predetermined, it is unpredictable and being made spontaneously in the moment.
UM dancers spontaneously organize improvisational “happenings” that are performed on, around, and off the University campus. Dancers can be found performing regularly at First Friday events, in museums, galleries, in festivals, at the Farmers' Market, and on street corners.
Keep your eyes peeled!