- the story
Impromptu was formed in Amsterdam in mid-2002 by Ralph de Rijke, a Dutch-English national living in Amsterdam who had been performing improv and music as separate activities for many years and who thought it would be fun to combine them. While many improv groups use a piano or keyboard player to provide mood music and song accompaniment, Impromptu is - as far as we're aware - still the only long-form improv group in the world whose members are all improvising musicians.
There are other groups out there exploring the interrelatedness of improvised theatre, sound, music, song and dance. These groups have probably always existed, but are only now being allowed into the theatres. :-)
In his seminal work 'Free PLay: Improvisation in Life and Art' Stephen Nachmanovitch recalls that he was part of a 'music-dance-theatre group called the Congregation', which played for their own enjoyment. I'd love to know what they discovered - and whether they still play.
Closer to home, The Czech group Krepsko is 'focusing on dance, acting, mime, song and musical improvisation' and the Fluxx initiative ESP is 'a collaboration of actors, dancers and musicians exploring cross-art form improvisation'. So we're not alone.
If you're working in this field, we'd like to know about you. We plan to organise a festival of interdisciplinary improvisation and you might want to be there. So get in touch!