Improvising dance

Donostia Aesthetics Forum

Institute for Logic, Cognition, Language an Information (ILCLI)


Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 15:00

Aili Bresnahan (University of Dayton)

Venue: Carlos Santamaria Zentroa, Class 4 (ground floor)


This presentation will claim that improvisation is an ineliminable part of dance performing. First, it will present a theory of improvisation in the arts and expand this to dance performing. Next, it will show how dance improvisation challenges traditional Western philosophical aesthetics to develop in new ways. It will do this by discussing the art-object model in order to show how traditional theories of art have developed from art critical practices that treat dances as if they were objects or texts. Finally, this presentation will demonstrate how dance improvisation can put pressure on these ideas in at least three ways: 1) by adding new movements that change a dance's structure, 2) by shifting the dance-relevant focus to non-stable and non-enduring aesthetic qualities of performance, and 3) by offering a vehicle for collaborative creation by multiple authors.

(Attendance is free, but it should be notified in advance to