FRIDAY October 7, 2022
10:00am - 11:00am @ UTSA Conference Center
Class 1A: Methods of Improvisation - Michael Ibrahim and Isaac Lopez with Karen Barbee

11:00am - 12:00pm @ UTSA Conference Center
Class 1B: A Crash Course in Improvised Dance to Improvised Music - Karen Barbee with Michael Ibrahim on nay, and Isaac Lopez on guitar

For many dancers, the idea of Improvisation feels risky when dancing to the music of a culture that is not our own and they consciously or subconsciously over-restrict their movement choices. The results are a sense of 1) running out of things to do, 2) everything looking and feeling the same, or an overreliance on the safety of tempo.
But improvisation requires personalization and sincerity.

This workshop will be conducted with the assumptions that 1) movement choices, however personal, made based on musical cues – as personally felt and defined by the dancer – affords the most sincere form of expression and vocabulary development, and 2) while not all movement is appropriate for all genres of music, movement size, texture, and dynamics need not be limited. For improvisation, boundaries must be explored and personal results of the exploration must be reinforced.

Little is available regarding the study of dance improvisation within a musically cued context however, ideas for its development can be drawn from the work available regarding improvisation by musicians.

The workshop will begin with Michael and Isaac – each on their respective instruments (nay and electric guitar) – demonstrating their improvisational style and telling us a little about how they learned and developed it.
Then, using the contrasting instruments and unique personal styles of Michael and Isaac, Karen will lead the class through a few listening and movement exercises to explore how much variety is being called out of us, how we can use it to create a beautiful, expressive, and sincere dance improvisation – AND how this work can be recontextualized for other music in an improvisatory setting.