definitions & notes

"Instant Composition is the art of composing in the moment. In contrast to a set choreography where the process of decision making happens by developing and polishing the material for many weeks in the studio, an improvised piece demands a different way of working: Here the dancer has to create, compose and perform all at the same time in the performing situation on stage. 
An instant composition can be completely open, or be predefined by developing a common language between the performers, or by agreeing on a score. But every time the piece is performed in a very new way. 

Instant Composition as a way of performing asks of the dancer a specific presence and availability, as well as a high degree of commitment and responsibility. The performer's body and mind need to be specifically tuned for perception, imagination, intuition, inhibition and action. At the same time one must be able to constantly read and respond to one's body, the other dancers and the composition itself, including all its different layers. These seemingly elusive qualities are actually skills that can be learned through specific training and practice. In any mode of dancing there are two elements: the concrete movement material, which demands certain physical abilities to perform it; and the form and structure in which the material is set and composed." 

Bettina Neuhaus


„Like silence and stillness we experience space as an absence, an interval or relationship between things.“
(Working with space, "Body, space, image: notes towards improvisation and performance"
Miranda Tufnell, Chris Crickmay, Dance Books, 1993)

"You don´t have to know what to do, you only have to notice what you are already doing."
Sten Rudstrom 


 "(...) You start to compose a landscape within wich an event can take place without necessarily knowing what kind of event it will be. But as you begin to assemble objects you are already discovering something about it´s dimension and qualities.
Shaping and reshaping the landscape is an integral part of improvisation (...)"

"Body, space, image: notes towards improvisation and performance"
Miranda Tufnell, Chris Crickmay
Dance Books, 1993


"If you can imagine what an improvised event look like,
is it truly an improvisation?
It is possible to express
the physicality of thinking?
Can you plan an accident?
How to avoid the soup?
How to make the soup?
How does one medium directly influence another?
(e.g. visual art-music)
How to blur the boundaries?
When do you pretend to know what is going on?
How to forget the tricks?
How to embrace uncertainty?
How to exit gracefully?
Looking for the third choice.
Non-action as an active choice?
What is the physical and emotional impact
of memory in movement?
Is it possible to replay a spontaneous emotion with physical honesty?
What is the techno Story?
Why is repetition so seductive?
Is selecting or controlling the audience a possibilty?
What do they not see?
Can we escape physicality?
Are we entering post-materialism?
Who is watching who?
How to get Lost?
If you think everything is under control, you don´t drive fast enough_Alain Prost 1995_
How do you know what you know?
How long do you stay in what you hate, in what you like?
What is an the other side?
If you have found your way, do you know where you´re going?
When to forget the questions?"

Christine Smedt, David Hernandez and Meg Stuart, excerpt invitation Letter for Crash Landing 1996 /
"Are we here yet?" Damaged Goods
Meg Stuart
Edited by Jeroen Peeters 2009