Prof Vida L Midgelow Improvisation and Mobility Conference & Festival – Vida Midgelow Keynote

The Improvisation and Mobility Conference and Festival, held at the University of Regina May 10-14, 2017, blended keynote presentations, creative performances and immersive experiences, panel conversations, and group workshopping to keep participants engaged, curious, and stimulated. There were keynotes by Vida Midgelow, Frédérique Arroyas, and George Lipsitz, as well as “An Interview with Two Leading Improvisation Scholars,” featuring Ajay Heble and Dr. Lipsitz. 

In a solo performance/lecture Prof Vida L Midgelow eats her words, ingests knowledge, animates her dead self and dances everywhere and nowhere, whilst speaking about improvisation and the un/disciplinary in an ever so slightly ridiculous set of circumstances in which she struggles to stay on script and often fails to achieve the planned outcome.

She asks: What is the potential of improvisatory knowing? What are the recurring features of improvisation in dance performance? What are the critical, fluid, emergent and situated modes of knowledge that are operating within an improvised context? What if improvisatory practices were considered as a way of going about things? For, as a generative, relational and temporal activity – improvisation is embedded in ‘the ways we work’ (Ingold 2007:3). Through leaky excessiveness disciplinary bounds are broken, as improvisation is understood here as un/disciplinary practice that proceeds toward a productive (un)knowing.

Moving between lecturing, dancing and other performance modalities this presentation uses the form a performative lecture to illuminate the significance the improvisatory, in and beyond dance, to reveal the epistemic work it embodies within our contemporary knowledge economy.

View more videos from the Improvisation and Mobility Conference & Festival  conference on our VIMEO page.


The Regina Improvisation Studies Centre, which is the Regina site of the national SSHRC Research Partnership the IICSI, together with the Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina, hosted the the Improvisation and Mobility Conference and Festival, held at the University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and downtown Regina art venues.

The program explored themes of improvisation and mobility, and includes lectures, performances, hybrid performative talks, workshops, installations, the launch of interactive apps, and much more.