In and out of Flow! improvisatory decision-making in dance and spoken word

Gemma Connell, Imogene Newland, Paula Aida Guzzanti Ferrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Flow! is an open-stage performance event that sees dancers in close conversation with spoken word artists. From its roots in the United States, slam poetry has become a cultural phenomenon, touching the hearts and minds of those involved in the hip hop genre and that of modern literature. Over the years, the lines between this form of performance and other arts have begun to blur. Flow! takes this a step further, allowing the spoken word to entwine itself with the human body. This event sees a succession of duets and group performances, teaming up poets with dancers to showcase their art forms collaboratively. Each pair locks, pops, spits and rhymes their way through a spontaneous set. Using the experience of previous Flow! artists and workshop participants, and examples of other projects and research into improvisatory practices and dance/spoken word collaboration across the United Kingdom, we look at elements of divided attention for the artists and the audience. We expand this to include the time lapse that can occur when one art form responds to another in order to inform a discussion around a dancer’s improvisatory decision-making process. To do this, we analyse the concepts used in Flow! as three separate voices, offering differing perspectives on how the dancer’s mind responds to new spoken word stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChoreographic Practices
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2017

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