Improvising the technically pedestrian choreography

“While improvisation initially offered Jones a reprieve from the demands of technical training…” – page 115 from I Want To Be Ready by Danielle Goldman.

This quote refers to the choreographer Bill T. Jones. While it may be true that improvisation did offer Jones a respite from the rigors of technical training, I find that this statement sets up, or rather is indicative of an old and antiquated antagonistic binary about improvisation and technique.

I would say that good improvisation requires technical training.  The opposite of improvisation is choreography.  And to do choreography doesn’t require technical training but merely memory.

A dancer’s relationship to time, i.e., improvisation or choreographed, has nothing to do with technical training.  Choreography can be technical or not, improvisation can be technical or not. Though, I would posit that untechnical improvisation isn’t improvisation, but merely futzing about, regardless of how enthusiastic it is. Choreography, on the other hand, is merely remembering a sequence of events.

Technical, pedestrian, improvised, choreographic…one does not imply the otherScreen Shot 2015-11-19 at 6.29.36 PM