Miquel de Jong:"By not putting the focus into the movement while improvising, we can start focusing on composition. On an individual level but also as a group, to eventually enable the participants to create a performance as a whole. I use a combination of techniques from dance and theatre. We will practice in different constellations and different time frames using a broad number of compositional tools. Always relating to our selves, the other and a group".
According to Miquel improvisation is an extremely powerful manner of performance because it is the existence and presentation of pure innovation. Yet, when most people improvise they are overwhelmed by the infinite number of possibilities and revert to ‘just doing something’. In its best form improvisation is a complex summation of moments related to innumerable factors, unpredictable and irreproducible. The interactions that exist have a direct relation to that moment in time and space and are therefore sincere, always in context, and legible to an audience. “Via an interdisciplinary technique developed from the dance and theatre world, my goal is to guide the participants into a space where they become aware of the countless determining factors that shape their improvisation and can utilize their own innate knowledge to create an in the moment performance´.
While typical dance training is focused on the perfection and performance of a movement, my method relies on the instinctive knowledge that the body and the individual already possesses and works from there to discover a natural flow of pre-reflective movement. In this situation the brain becomes free to make aware and active choices geared towards composition. Over the past years I have developed and implemented this improvisation method through several projects, each with an unique subject and focal point, for example: temporal existence, spatial awareness, functional and structural body awareness, phrasing in dance, use and integration of the senses, intuition – movement as dialogue; partnering improvisation and the use of emotions.
Miquel de Jong (Netherlands, 1971) was trained at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague from the age of 10 and graduated in 1989 with a diploma of higher professional education of dance. His dance career started at the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam (led by Nils Christe and later by Ed Wubbe) where he danced for six years. In 1995 he moved to France where he worked as first soloist at France's most renowned modern dance company L'Opera de Lyon directed by Yougos Loukos, where he worked with great choreographers such as William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek and Ohad Naharin.
Just when he decided to focus more on one choreographer, Angelin Preljocaj, he met Russell Maliphant who inspired him so much that after one year being at Ballet Preljocaj, he decided to go to London where he learned a variety of movement styles and techniques like: Improvisation, Contact improvisation, Capoeira, Acrobatics but also body-mind techniques such as Yoga, Thai Chi, Rolfing and meditation. Russel's work changed his whole view on dance and movement. In London he discovered a passion for teaching improvisation and to prove that there is more to improvisation then 'to just do something', he developed his own method for his classes, which consist of two parts: pre-reflective movement and consensus composition. This later grew into making of improVexchange performances. Miquel is currently a free lance movement coach for choreographers and theatre directors and is teaching not only the dance academies but also the musical and circus departments. He gives workshops in many countries and even created improVexchange performances in Russia and China.