Chatting up dancer Paridhi Bihani and sarod player Anupam Joshi about improvisation in contemporary movement and music
Improvisation in dance is moving your body without thinking. When you lift your hand or move your fingers, that is improvisation,” says Paridhi Bihani, a dance student from Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, Bengaluru. Bihani, and her fellow students from Pune, Sayli Kulkarni Joshi and Maitreyee Joshi, are introducing the idea of improvisation through ‘The Improv — An Evening of Improvisation in Contemporary Movement and Music — a contemporary movement jam’ in the city on Thursday.
Giving us a peek into what improvisation music is, Bihani says, “When two musicians perform, without any plan, they play in harmony and get inspired from each other. This is called improvisation in music. When a musician and a dancer get together, the latter listens to music and does a step in response to it. Whereas the musician looks at the movements and tunes up music. There is no choreography or a set of composition or steps. This is called improvisation in music and dance.”
The hour-and-a-half-long jam session has been divided into three parts. The first 30-45 minutes is called ‘Guided Improvisation’ where dancers and dance enthusiasts will be taught about how to begin, where to move, how to stand, glide on the floor. It will be done on a recorded music. The next 30 minutes, they will apply whatever they’ve learnt to their dance and movement, done in improvisation, to live music. The third part of this programme includes interaction, discussion and question-answer round so that participants can understated the concept of contemporary dance and related theories.
Anupam Joshi, a city-based sarod player who is contributing to the jam session through music, feels that contemporary dance is evolving. “Given that the traditional type of art we follow, should merge with contemporary form, in order to seek reciprocal inspiration. I am looking forward to not just giving my inputs in terms of music, but also gain from their movements. I will be accompanied by Unmesh Banerjee on the percussion,” says Joshi.
Talking about the improvisation dance done to live music, Joshi says that everybody has his/her own expression, only the medium is different. “To say that music doesn’t have inbuilt dance, and dance doesn’t have inbuilt music is not correct. We all have these aspects somewhere, it is just that the expression and the medium of expression is different. In this jam session, since nothing is fixed, we will look at the movements of the dancers and their representation of the tune that we will be playing, and vice versa. Music is something that you perform or enjoy with closed eyes and for dance you need to open your eyes to see. So it is like the visual extension of music that we are playing and music is extension of the movement that the dancers are dancing to,” concludes Joshi.
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‘The Improv — An Evening of Improvisation in Contemporary Movement and Music — a contemporary movement jam’, will be held on Thursday, December 28 at Om studio, JM Road from 6-8 pm. To register write to, email@example.com