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Improvisation in the Expressive and Performing Arts

The Relationship between Shaping and Letting-go
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This book explores the process of improvisation and outlines the ideal conditions for an inspirational creative state. Examining her own process as an artist and drawing on interviews with peers, the author considers how the forces of shaping (intellect-driven decisions) and letting-go (more intuitive moves) interact in improvisation.

The book follows the journey of seven performing arts graduates and undergraduates, examining their experiences of improvisation and the interplay of shaping and letting-go. It reveals how the approach and methods of expressive arts can enrich an improviser's experience and spur the desire for discovery.
  • Published: Feb 21 2019
  • Pages: 176
  • 230 x 154mm
  • ISBN: 9781785925757
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Press Reviews

  • Sally Atkins, Professor of the European Gradate School, Professor Emerita and Founder of Expressive Arts at Appalachian State University

    This beautifully written book reminds us that creativity is an interpenetrating play of letting go and shaping, not only in improvisational movement and art making, but also in life itself. With her openness to learning from others as well as from her own personal experience, the author inspires us to risk diving deeply into life, to explore the interplay of control and surrender with courage and trust.
  • Seán Curran, Chair, Department of Dance, NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, Artistic Director, Seán Curran Company

    Ms. Belize Demircioglu offers a thorough and nuanced exploration of the internal and external forces impacting the process of improvisation as an artistic practice. Her writing is engaging, specific, and refreshingly honest.
  • Professor Margo Fuchs Knill, Ph.D., Dean of Division of Arts Health and Society, EGS and Professor Dr. h.c. Paolo Knill, Ph.D., Founding Rector of the European Graduate School EGS

    Ever swam up a waterfall? Beliz Demircioglu demonstrates that the seemingly impossible can be turned around. She beautifully and willfully serves the dance called life - not because she wants it, but because she believes it. This book teaches us how to forget ourselves in order to find ourselves anew in a liberated way.
  • Ellen G. Levine, MSW, Ph.D., ATR-BC, RSW, Author of Play and Art in Child Psychotherapy: An Expressive Arts Therapy Approach (2015, JKP)

    In this revealing and well-articulated book, Beliz Demicioglu dives down to bring her subject alive. Beliz is a multi-talented dancer-researcher who moves together with her co-divers to explore and harvest the relationship between letting go and shaping in art and in life. An important contribution to the growing field of arts-based research.