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Improvisation

Improvisation is central to my music making. In my interactive dance works, I set up interactive environments which encourage the performers to improvise a music-dance-video artistic experience. I have always enjoyed playing "continuo" as a harpsichordist, as I can improvise an accompaniment to the melody via the harmony provided by the figured bass. I have had several free improvisation groups over the years as well, Crossing Vistas with cellist Gwendolyn Watson, and The Vivaldi Project with cellist Dan Reiter.


But it is in the dance studio that improvisation is dearest to me. I am profoundly inspired by dance movement, and I play a central role in the training of the dancers through my music making. In a dance class, the music must simultaneously help in training bodies, inspire dance artistry and sense of performance, and reflect the class’ seriousness of purpose as ritual. To create such music, making it afresh to fit the changing needs of each class and individual dance instructor, requires a skilled improviser.


 

 

 

 



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John Toenjes

907 1/2 W Nevada St.
Urbana, IL 61801
217-265-0359
jtoenjes@illinois.edu

 

 

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