breaking open the moment
dance   –   video   –   music
live  improvised  meetings
between  artists  &  audiences



Media Quotes

…joyfully chaotic rebellion… expanding the art of live performance. The Age – Hilary Crampton, March 2007,

…mesmerising synergies…  artistic depth and experience. Melbourne Stage – Stephanie Glickman, March 2007,

…transfixingly radiant abstract images. RealTime – Keith Gallasch, November 2006,



IMPRO-LAB is an ongoing series of laboratories, residencies and performances which specifically address interdisciplinary improvisation. IMPRO-LAB is concerned with the language forged in the instantaneous meeting between music, dance and visual media. It is an openended process of interdisciplinary exchange exploring an ecology of improvisation. It aims to develop an environment of performance, both for live-audience, screen and playback media.

In 2006, 2007 and 2008 IMPRO-LAB involved a number of related stages in Perth, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns with dancers Peter Fraser, Yumi Umiumare, Tony Yap and Tess de Quincey alongside artists Jim Denley on wind instruments (Machine for Making Sense), Chris Abrahams on keyboards (The Necks), sound-poet Amanda Stewart (Machine for Making Sense), video artist Samuel James and lighting designer Clytie Smith. It also involved a collaboration with two Japanese artists, vocalist Ami Yoshida, originator of the “howling voice” and barely audible sound that is perceived as sound itself rather than as vocalisation, alongside musician Sachiko M, renowned improviser with soundwaves and sampler embracing simplicity, minimalism and texture – both pivotal figures in Japanese contemporary music. They were presented in collaboration with the core Australian artists to audiences at The Studio, Sydney Opera House.

Each step in the series of related stages occurrs with different constellations of the artists involved. The output of each step feeds back into the ongoing thread of the laboratories as well as into performances for camera and for public. These meetings gather focus on language forged in the moment and aim to develop our abilities to engage with the particular environments we each bring to the collaboration. Exploring compositional and aesthetic strategies, we intend to generate language through permeation and interpenetration, also via emphasis on interdependencies of the conceptual, ethical and energetic dynamics at play between us and our audiences.

IMPRO-LAB 2006-2008

REX LAB, 25 January – 5 February, Department of Performance Studies, The University of Sydney; 8 artists


PICA HYBRID ARTS RESIDENCY 12-30 July, Perth; 4 artists

CRITICAL PATH LAB, November 11-26 at The Drill, Sydney which includes

IMPRO-LAB: TRANSPARENCIES, Sydney Opera House, 24-26 November 2006; 8 Australian, 2 Japanese artists

IMPRO-LAB: TRANSPARENCIES, Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, 8-11 March 2007; 8 Australian artists

IMPRO-LAB: TRANSPARENCIES, OnEdge Festival, Cairns, 31 July – 2 August 2008; 4 Australian artists


These laboratories were supported by the Dance Board and the New Media Board of the Australia Council, NSW Ministry for the Arts, AsiaLink, PICA – Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Studio – Sydney Opera House, Machine for Making Sense, Department of Performance Studies – The University of Sydney, Critical Path and Performance Space.