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Make Good Event: On Form and Improvisation

Donna Matthews and Sarah White

An evening exploring the relationship between form and improvisation within sound and movement research.

This event was part of our London Make Good series.

The footage is of the conversation between Donna and Sarah only.

The evening began with a film essay by Donna Matthews - (Improvisation as a Liminal Experience), followed by a presentation of the performance work Oh Crumbs! by Sarah White. Donna and Sarah then discussed the recent developments in their practice as they move from improvisation into structured forms, reflecting on the spiritual significance of these different processes and approaches.

Donna's film can be viewed here: Improvisation as a Liminal Experience

Sarah's work can be viewed at her website here, www.sarahwhite.org.uk and a trailer of the piece Oh Crumbs! is available here.

Donna Matthews - (@donnalmatthews)

Until recently, Donna’s practice-based PhD in Music, has focussed primarily on "undoing form” in order to examine liminal or prophetic states. Utilising methods of musical improvisation, speaking in tongues, and attentive filming and collaging, her process now involves crafting the results of these explorations into a more structured, communicable form of an essay film.

This transition from improvisation towards craft resonates with theologian Felix Jager's notion of "the 'flow' of renewal worship”- something he describes it as an oscillation between the formational power of the Word and the deconstructive power of the sanctifying Spirit. He asserts “both the formational and deconstructing forces are powerful and necessary for believers to be truly conformed to the image of Christ.”

Sarah White - www.sarahwhite.org.uk (@sarah_white16)

Sarah is currently studying for an MA in Creative Practice: Dance Professional at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Over the past five years Sarah has worked with long-form movement improvisation, seeing the potentail of these spaces to encourage attention, faith and vulnerability where we encounter the unknown or not-yet-fully known. Moving into increasingly scored and choreographed practices Sarah will reflect on the theological frameworks within these methods , and how we create structures which are malleable and can breathe.

Sarah's recent performance work Oh Crumbs! was developed from Kierkegaard's text Fear and Trembling where he usees four reteliings of the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac in an attempt to comprehend a story which feels impossible to understand.

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