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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay explores my practice as a dance artist in health and care settings and locates my experience in improvisation at the nucleus of this practice. Like the nucleus of the cell, improvisation is the place of regulation of my activity, at the core, guiding, nurturing, and holding me as I navigate the unknown; in terms of both the physical context in which I work and the creative and imaginative happenstances. This is exemplified through illustrations of practice in a dementia care setting and a children’s hospital. This essay also contends that improvisation, as a phenomenological process that does not suppose a truth but embraces a myriad of possibilities, enables dance artists to document the effects of their work and contribute to a growing body of evidence citing the manifold benefits of somatic dance and improvisation practices in healthcare.

Keywords: improvisation, medicine, health, Body-Mind Centering, somatics, paediatrics, dementia, research

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