Department of Improvised Dance: Set and Setting | 21c Museum Hotel | Performances | Indy Week

Department of Improvised Dance: Set and Setting 

When: Ongoing, 5-7 p.m.

Think, for a moment, of Matthew Young's Department of Improvised Dance as if it were an academic department. How do you teach the principles of improvisational movement? The practice is experiential; participants learn by doing. And part of that doing is sharpening your ability to observe: How could my arm relate to the shape of her bent leg? What's the quality of the negative space between bodies, between walls and furniture? So much of improvisational practice is watching and noticing context. Young interrogates the meaning of context in Set and Setting, the Department's new evening-length improvised group piece and the fifth performance in the Durham Independent Dance Artists season. In the ballroom of 21c Museum Hotel, with live accompaniment by D-Town Brass, Young plays with the juxtaposition of spontaneous movement and formal venue. Maybe he'll teach us something about how watching dance can be an improvisation, too. —Michaela Dwyer

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