Written by Sofia Mavragani
imPROject is an ongoing research on improvisation focusing on the ways in which the structures and elements of playing interfere with, enrich, and finally shape the artistic result. imPROject contemplates improvisation as a special technique that requires absolute activation and practiced perception. It is based on a system of tools that supports instant reception, transformation and communication of direct information and redefines the notion of «playing» on stage. ImPROject studies the functionality of the rule, on the way strict rules converse with freedom of expression, and on the definition of the notion of freedom within a system of coexistence and co-operation of different players. As an improvisation methodology centred on the game, it is constantly being tested under real circumstances. Main concern is the body in the face of the perpetually changing living conditions – personal, social and political. Moreover, imPROject explores methods through which the performers can enrich and strengthen their performing and physical vocabulary, stimulate their creativity and imagination, trust their choices with clarity, focus, and free their potential artistic capabilities. Through the experience of a frame where rules coexist with the freedom of expression, as a game of rules, it creates the opportunity for grasping, but also training in the process of improvised decision-making. The final result concerns the creation of a self-regulatory stage system where performers function as players.
The research process begins with the observations and practices recorded by choreographer Sofia Mavragani through the course of the artistic and educational project playforPLACE in 17 cities all over the world, examining the relation between playing and performing arts, These practices are being studied and further developed in the frame of intensive workshops that take place with the kind support of The J. F. Costopoulos Foundation and the Duncan Dance Research Center.
imPROject aims to provide a space for the moulding and finally the shaping of a new improvisation method.