Between minds and bodies: Some insights about creativity from dance improvisation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533



Observing dance improvisation provides a unique opportunity to understand how people collaborate together while creating. It is an opportunity to consider how new ideas appear, not simply from the internal processes of a single creator but rather from the interactions between the minds, bodies and the environment acting on and between a group of improvising dancers. Improvisational scores served in this study as a laboratory into group creativity. Using a video-stimulated recall method, which asks dancers to reflect upon their own processes just after completing the score, I explored the interdependency between meta-cognitive strategies such as imagery and sense awareness, group processes, the role of others in one’s own creative processes, and interactions between bodies and with the environment. As a result I describe how dancers build together a common improvisational space, which allows them to co-create and share their ideas mostly in non-verbal, non-propositional ways. I discuss the co-agency of such a process, showing that intentionality is distributed between dancers at each moment of improvisation and that they are mainly focused on supporting the ideas of others. I also discuss the medium of the body and the embodied response as central to dance improvisation practice.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): co-agency; dance improvisation; embodied cognition; group creativity
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