The Art of Improvisation: From Phronesis to the Production of Practical Knowledge
Course: Integrated Arts 310 / Integrated Arts 610
Day/Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:30 – 5:10 pm
Location: 510 Lathrop Hall
Limit: 20 students across any discipline
Description: This course is for artists, engineers, practitioners, and activists. It will reveal how to apply improvisation methodologies to enable productive interdisciplinary collaborations, while also showing how to tap into your personal creativity within everyday life. Students were expected to form an active and integrated web-based community to facilitate group research and sharing of resources. The class combined practice-based workshops, interdisciplinary guest lectures, fieldwork, journaling, and performance.
The course focused on cross-disciplinary engagements with improvisation as a methodology. Innovative design processes, public speaking, teaching methodologies, art-making, music, medical practitioners (working in emergency surgery), and dance practices introduced students to a range of approaches to improvisation, both in theory and practice. Guest lecturers from these fields introduced specific methodologies that harness spontaneity and dynamic responses to the current moment as it presents itself. The class also engaged deeply with somatic and mindfulness practices alongside an emphatic dedication to rhythm that is present in every encounter, when awareness of it is made tangible.
At the heart of the writing class is the modern world’s construction of race and how it reinforces a false reality that has produced masses of art and critical thought.
Download the course flyer (PDF).
- Watch the highlights video from Dr. S. Ama Wray’s residency by clicking here!
- The 11th annual Chris Gray Memorial Lecture On Becoming: A Neo-African Performance Architect will be presented by Dr. S. Ama Wray on Friday, April 13 at 12:00 pm at Florida International University.
- Dr. S. Ama Wray and her students will hold open rehearsals in the Chazen Museum of Art lobby every Tuesday through April from 3:30 – 4:45 pm. Drop by to catch a preview of the final residency event! All are welcome.
- Students enrolled in Ama’s course will visit the Ruth Davis Design Gallery (1300 Linden Drive) on Thursday, March 1, from 3:30 – 5:15 pm for a tour of Whirling Return of the Ancestors: Egúngún Arts of the Yorùbá in Africa and Beyond. Students will explore practicing Embodiology® in and around the textiles and gallery visitors.
- Dr. Wray will participate in a Pan African Master Class on Friday, February 23 from 5:00 – 7:30 pm in 349 Lathrop Hall. Experience the African contribution to American dance and music culture through West African technique and Afro-Caribbean traditional dance forms at this free workshop, open to the public!
- Calling all engineering students! Collaborate with students from S. Ama Wray’s course to form the Embodiology® Research Group. Your innovations could be translated to a live performance in May. Sign up at the makerspace on Tuesday, March 6 at 5:00 pm. Download the flyer (PDF) here.
- Congratulations to Dr. S. Ama Wray, who has been selected as one of the 2018 African Diaspora Emerging Scholars by the Comparative & International Education Society African Diaspora SIG!
Dance Department Friday Forum
The Artist Workshop is part of the American College Dance Association North-Central Conference.
Guest artist Daniel Kodzo Avorgbedor will present Liminality, Copresence, and Pneumareisis: Pathways to Knowing Ancestors in Anlo-Ewe during the morning presentations at the 2018 African Studies Symposium “Honoring Ancestors in Africa and Beyond: Arts and Actions” on Friday, April 6.
Dr. S. Ama Wray will present Mami Wata | Wata Mami during the afternoon presentations at the 2018 African Studies Symposium “Honoring Ancestors in Africa and Beyond: Arts and Actions” on Saturday, April 7.