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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay is both analytical and personal. The first section, ‘A Philosophical Approach’, develops key terms of the chapter through a philosophy of active embodiment and being seen. The second section, ‘Moving through Time’, is the author’s story of moving through nine historical phases of dance improvisation. The third section, ‘Why Improvise?’, inquires into the improvisational body in somatics and human development and reviews ascendant pyramidal conceptions of dance improvisation, preferring attributes relative to distinctiveness in motion, intimacy with body and others, inclusive aesthetics, and variables of intentionality. The chapter aims to show how improvisational qualities are both abstract and personal, and that they involve an interplay of possibilities—how things draw apart, alternate, disintegrate, or assemble throughout a creative whole. Love and faith both live in dance, stirring the intangibles of dance improvisation.

Keywords: body, dance, improvisation, philosophy, phenomenology, somatics, values

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