Improvisation in the arts

An article written by: Lee Sonogan

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“Self study leads to improvisation and improvisation leads to evolution.”
― Oscar Auliq-Ice

Improv! Improvisation or to improvise is creating or performing something at random or making something from whatever is available physically or your current understanding of what you are trying to create. Using improvisation is a very spontaneous skill with or without specific or scripted preparation. The skills of improvisation can apply to many different forms of art and beyond. Artistic, scientific, physical, cognitive, academic, and non-academic disciplines. Most of all, life is improvisation. Living and making different choices in life in the moment can be easier if you know the skills of improvisation.

You are not a good improviser if you make you decisions quickly and are not open to any new ideas. In any conversation with collaborators or yourself you need to be able to think of your ideas freely. Improvisation is a progress of creativity and encourages a level playing field to all ideas. A greater understanding of many different concepts will help your improvised ideas. Collaborating in groups will have more types of understanding then you do and will encourage more expression of invention then quality of ideas.

Tips for working well in groups while improvising:

  • Do not take your self so seriously
  • Listen to everything others have to say
  • Just go with it while creating
  • Mirror what others say or do
  • Make connections to other people’s ideas
  • Communicate honestly
  • Study your collaborative subjects/themes
  • Relax and be your self
  • Have fun
  • So much more tips for improvising in groups!

You need to say yes when improvising. Saying yes is a tool in constant creation where accuracy does not matter. Music uses improvisation while simultaneously playing music, without prior preparation. Improvisational comedy is a theatre art performed throughout the world with a lot of history. Dance improvisation is frequently used as a choreographic tool. Choreography is also frequently used as a tool for improvisation. Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials immediately at hand. Improvised weapons are also often used by guerrillas, insurgents and criminals.

Some movies and tv shows are highly improvised while be filmed. Improvisational writing is an exercise and tool that forces limitations on a writer such as a time limit, word limit, a specific topic, or rules on what can be written. Or to develop their existing writing content. This makes the writer to work in the moment and write without judgment of the work they produce. This technique is similar to other improvisation methods for a variety of reasons, such as writer’s block, improve creativity, strengthen one’s writing instinct and enhance one’s flexibility in writing.

If your going to improvise, you need to commit. Being an improvised idea, there is always more time to work on it and improvise new ideas onto it. Moving forward is essential. Adapting to your commitments is the progress of development. You will create a structure and be able to work around any issues that come up. Then you just need to fill in the gaps for a final product. Committing to ideas in a group can be a more difficult progress to go through.

Like any skill worth learning, you only get better as you age. So you should manage your ability to observe, gain knowledge and successfully apply solutions to your problems in the various amount of arts and life. Be in the moment and practise improvisation when a challenge arises. Accept failure and learn from your mistakes. Your creativity will improve when you have experienced more improvisation in your life. Improvising is a great skill in creating and coming up with solutions I use everyday. How much do you improvise in your life?

“I’ve been an improviser since I was in my twenties. There’s really no failing in improv. You just go on to the next thing.”
― Alan Alda

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