DC 8th International Improvisation Plus+ Festival

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Maida Withers
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Giselle Ruzany, Brazil

      2001  Festival at Art Museum of the Americas & OAS Garden

Photos by Adam Peiperl

History of the Festival Maida Withers & Peter FraizePeter Fraize & Maida Withers

The DC International Improvisation Plus+ Festival introduces audiences to diverse approaches to improvisation as a performing art and provides artists with opportunities for networking and exchange.  Over the last seven years the DC International Improvisation Plus+ Festival has successfully presented improvisational performances in theatres and for site-specific venues throughout the Washington, DC area.  Improvising artists from DC, New York City, Europe, South America and Asia have participated.   Performances have taken place at the Smithsonian Institute's International Gallery of Art, throughout the premises of  The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Art Museum of the Americas and the OAS Garden, The George Washington University Marvin Theatre, Gunston Art Center, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Joe's Movement Emporium and The Hand Chapel at GW's Mount Vernon College.  Workshops are offered on various topics on two weekends.  The festival was founded by Maida Withers and later co-curated with Jim Levy, music curator, Daniel Burkholder, contact improvisation, Cyrus Khambatta, theatre/dance, and Sharon Mansur, dancer.  Artist participation has been supported by the Goethe Institut, CECNY - Artslink, Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Embassy of France, Maida Withers Dance Construction Company and the Phffft Company and the participating artists.

Ciane Fernandes           Dan Burkholder   Sharon Mansur & Dan       Francesca Genco


2002 Festival Program - December 5 -15, 2002

Gala Festival Opening Performance
GW’s Marvin Center Theatre
Dance and Technology
800 Twenty-first Street NW
Washington, DC
Friday, December 6, 2002 at 8:00 PM 
Performers:  To be announced 

GW’s Marvin Center Theatre
Saturday, December 7, 2002 at 8 PM
Performers:  To be announced

Two blocks from Foggy Bottom/GW Metro Station
Tickets:  TBA
Ticket Purchase:  Ticketmaster at GW, ground floor of Marvin Center; Ticketmaster by telephone, 202-432-7328 (432-SEAT)
Information:  Nicki Ferramosca - 202-994-6460; Jen Gerstein - 202- 202-994-6178
Performances  cosponsored by The George Washington University's Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music
Link:  http://home.gwu.edu/~withers/improvisationfestival.html

The Jack Guidone Theater
Joy of Motion Dance Dance Center at Friendship Heights
5207 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC  20015
Saturday, December 14, 2002 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 15, 2002 at 7:00 PM
Performers: To be announced
Tickets:  TBA
Ticket Purchase: TBA
Information: 202-994-0739
Performances cosponsored by Joy of Motion Dance Center
Link: http://www.joyofmotion.org/perfsched.htm

Workshops – to be announced

The DC 8th International Improvisation Plus+ Festival is supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts,  The George Washington University's Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music, Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, and Joy of Motion.

2002 Festival Proposal for Artists' Participation -  Deadline: August 15, 2002

The DC 8th International Improvisation Festival is accepting proposals from improvisational performers for the festival that takes place December 5 - 15, 2002. The DC 8th International Improvisation Festival is seeking to bring together DC-based, national and international dancers, musicians and performance artists for two weekends of performances and classes. The performances will take place in Washington, DC at GW’s Marvin Center Theater, December 6 & 7, and at Joy of Motion’s Jack Guidone Theatre, December 14 & 15, 2002. 

Procedure for applicants

  1. Read the information below regarding the festival and procedure to apply. Visit http://home.gwu.edu/~withers/improvisationfestival.html for information about previous festivals.
  2. Copy and paste your proposed project in the format of the questions listed below and send as a NEW email to: dcimprovfest@yahoo.com.  DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS.
  3. Mail video tape (VHS) sample through regular mail to:

  4. DC 8th International Improvisation Festival
    c/o Daniel Burkholder
    210 Domer Ave
    Takoma Park, MD 20912
Performance Categories
The festival is interested in all improvisational performance work. The festival performances and workshops represent a wide range of improvisational approaches.  In the past the festival has incorporated dance, contact improvisation, performance art, theatre/dance, and music.  This year, two of the performances will have specific focuses and the festival is encouraging individuals and/or groups that work under the following categories to apply:
TECHNOLOGY & PERFORMANCE:  The festival is open to various proposals including:  (1) new media and technology persons interested in working with professional improvisers participating in the festival; (2) dance/performance artists working with technology and new media; (3) collaborators working with technology and dance improvisation.  Artists representing this area should contact m.withers@verizon.net for specifics for applying.
DANCE & MUSIC COLLABORATIONS: We are interested in proposals that include dancers and musicians who perform improvisationally in a collaborative process.  Professional musicians are available for collaboration.

Performance Options
We are encouraging proposals from improvisers and/or groups for 8-12 minute performances.  Additional time may be considered depending on the performance.  Performance options include shared evenings or participating in pre-/post-performances. Each group will have a minimal tech time and there are limits regarding special lighting. We will have a basic sound system available.  Minimal technical crews are provided.  You may be a participant in more than one group, but may only submit one proposal as the lead person.
SHARED EVENINGS: Four or five artists/groups will share a performance event. In select instances, artists may share in an event during the performance.
PRE-/POST-PERFORMANCES: We are seeking artists who would be interested in creating pre- or post- site-specific performances in and around the performance spaces. These performances would take place not on the stage but at other locations at these venues. One or two groups per night with a maximum time of 12 minutes will be available.

The festival is able to provide the following: performance venue, one technical rehearsal and publicity/promotions including press release, flyers, etc. Generally, we are not able to offer any performance stipend. The festival is run on a small grant from George Washington University and is organized entirely by volunteers.  All proceeds from the
performances will be applied toward the costs of the festival.  Artist/teachers may be compensated for workshops related to the festival.  For out-of-town artists, some housing assistance may be provided.

Each group will be required to supply one person who will volunteer one night of the festival to assist with a performance. This person will help with the running of that night’s performance and could perform any of the following jobs: tech crew, box office, usher, or general help. 

Each group will be required to assist with promotion of the event with distribution of flyers and email promotions for audience development. An electronic notice will be distributed for participants to share with patrons and artists. Any mail lists (snail mail and electronic mail) should be contributed to the festival for general distribution as well.

Submitting a proposal, due August 15, 2002
Please submit a video that is representative of improvisation performance work performed in the last three years (10 min max).
Please answer the questions, in order, for your proposal:
1. Type of performance (dance, music, performance art) & length of piece
2. In one paragraph, describe your proposal. Please state if you work falls under one of the following categories: “Technology & Performance” or “Collaboration between live dancers and musicians”. (Please note that your work does not have to fall under one of the categories, but preference is given to those works that do.)
3. Would you be interested in performing as a Pre- or Post-Performance?
4. Number of performers;
5. Names of the performers;
6. Name of the contact person or primary performer/organizer and email address, phone number and street address.
7. Does your performance have any special requirements (set, props, elaborate costumes, etc.)?
8. Please include a complete bio or resume of contact person or primary performer/organizer and either complete or shortened bios of each of the other performers. ***Include a brief history of the contact person’s or group’s history with regard to improvisation and performance;
10. Volunteer person to assist with the festival:
Name of person who will volunteer
List any experience with running a show (running lights, box office, etc)
Contact information for this person (email & phone number). 
9. Email this proposal to dcimprovfest@yahoo.com or mail it (by Aug. 15th) or with video to:
DC VIII International Improvisation Festival
c/o Daniel Burkholder
210 Domer Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

We are interested in offering workshops taught by improvisation specialists.  Suggestions for topics and workshop leaders are most welcome.