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New Year's Day 2014 OT: All Is Quiet

Improvisation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Improvisations" redirects here. For other uses, see Improvisations (disambiguation).

ComedySportz Austin performing a shortform game based on direction from the audience with the help of Red Dirt Improv; in this case spoofing a hard rock band performing a song made up on the stage

Improvisation is a state of being and creating action without pre-planning. This can be when an individual or group is acting, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, talking, creating artworks, problem solving, or reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or new ways to act.

Improvisation can be thought of as an "on the spot" or "off the cuff" spontaneous moment of sudden inventiveness that can just come to mind, body and spirit as an inspiration. No preparation or training is needed. However, improvisation in any life or art form, can occur more often if it is practiced as a way of encouraging creative behavior. That practice includes learning to use one's intuitive, as well as learning a technical understanding of the necessary skills and concerns within the domain in which one is improvising.

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Skills and techniques[edit]

The skills of improvisation can apply to many different abilities or forms of communication and expression across all artistic, scientific, physical, cognitive, academic, and non-academic disciplines. For example, improvisation can make a significant contribution in music, dance, cooking, presenting a speech, sales, personal or romantic relationships, sports, flower arranging, martial arts, psychotherapy, and much more.

Techniques of improvisation are widely used in training for performing arts or entertainment; for example, music, theatre and dance. To "extemporize" or "ad lib" is basically the same as improvising. Colloquial terms such as "let's play it by the ear", "take it as it comes", and "make it up as we go along" are all used to describe "improvisation".

The simple act of speaking requires a good deal of improvisation because the mind is addressing its own thought and creating its unrehearsed delivery in words, sounds and gestures, forming unpredictable statements that feed back into the thought process (the performer as listener), creating an enriched process that is not unlike instantaneous composition [with a given set or repertoire of elements].[1]

Where the improvisation is intended to solve a problem on a temporary basis, the "proper" solution being unavailable at the time, it may be known as a stop-gap. This applies to the field of engineering. Another improvisational, group problem-solving technique being used in organizations of all kinds isbrainstorming, in which any and all ideas that a group member may have are permitted and encouraged to be expressed, regardless of actual practicality. As in all improvisation, the process of brainstorming opens up the minds of the people involved to new, unexpected and possibly useful ideas. The colloquial term for this is "thinking out-side the box."


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