dancing with people who don't know they're dancing

Today in improv we got into small groups of 2 or 3 and then had to go somewhere in or around the building and create a improvisational structure in a "non-dance" space. The group I was in, A. & S., decided to go outside to this courtyard to create our performance. One of the directions we were given was to make it in a way that people passing by might not even know it was a performance. In the courtyard there was a woman reading, so we decided to incorporate her into the performance without her knowing it. Our structure was to enter the court yard one at a time, sit down with our own book and every time the woman moved we turned a page. At any time any of us could set the book down and the other two would do the same. We were allowed to do something else - ie. go throw something away, pick up a stick, etc..., but none of the actions could call attention to the fact that we were "performing". After a time we left. What was wonderful was being highly tuned to this person without them knowing it. It asks some really interesting questions about what is a performance and who are performers. And, in quite a solid way, I think it was a good performance - maybe not the most exciting one, but actually pretty engaging. I really loved it and would like to do more "undercover" performances.


  1. This sounds so fun! Also reminds me a little of an improv everywhere mission. You must know of them, yes? They are not dancers per se, but have created and carried out a number of movement based performances in public spaces...
    Hope you and yours are all well.
    Jen Bailes Hart