This Website / Blog is being discontinued. I leave it at this place on the web as a reference, for archival purposes. Maybe you have come here through an old link.

The Meeting Point was an international platform for the practice of interdisciplinary instant composing, operating from Amsterdam, but in it's time also connected to artists in Helsinki, Berlin, Barcelona and Milan.
Improvised performance and instant composing seen as a disicpline in its own right, supporting interdisciplinary exchange, artistic production and social communication.

It all started with the Meeting Point sessions at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, which are now continued under the name 'Monday Match'.

On this blog you can find the posts until August 2010, relating to the events that happened in Amsterdam and around (The Netherlands).


The Carpet Collective

This is a new platform for interdisciplinary instant composition in Amsterdam, facilitated by Thomas Johannsen:
Find them here:
We hold weekly research sessions where the performance professionals from various disciplines lead the work in turns. Sessions are set up to (1) train and (2) discover and define work methods and vocabulary that work for any discipline.

The Meeting Point as a project of Valeria Primost is being continued via this website:

The Monday Match is the current regular spot for music/dance improvisation (continuing the concept of The Meeting Point) every first Monday of the month in the Bimhuis, Amsterdam:

The Genetic Choir (instant vocal composition) has also now his own website. You can find it here:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Voice for Dance workshop

with Thomas Johannsen

26th September 2009

Utrecht, Netherlands

This is a workshop about using the voice in dance improvisation.
Any sound can be music, any movement can be dance. It is your awareness that creates the meaning. But when dealing with sound or voice in improvisation, we do need a different awareness than just the awareness of a skilled dancer. What is space in terms of music? What is the physicality of your voice? This workshop is about experiencing this other awareness: Of any sound as music, and of your own voice as a musical and improvisational instrument.
Next to this we will look at the skill of supporting dancers with your voice. How to open up the space for them, how to create and sustain together a close interaction between voice and dance.

The focus of this workshop will be on voice work, but dancers are especially welcome with their skills, so that we can play in the second part of the day!
Whatever your level of experience - whether you never used your voice and want to try it or you are already a singer and you are interested in the interaction with dancers - this workshop might be something for you!

To inscribe for the workshop, and for more information send an e-mail to
or visit the website:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

new season Genetic Choir 2009/2010


There is an open workshop coming up for everyone who likes to get to know the Genetic Choir.
By now, the choir has grown so much that if you want to come to the regular sessions in the coming season and you are new to the Genetic Choir, you need to come to this workshop first.

But also if you simply want to check it out and enjoy this day of singing and instant composing, you are very much invited!

Date: 6th September 2009
Time: 11:00-18:00
Place: Amsterdam

If you are interested, contact me: johannsen{DOT}t{AT}gmail{DOT}com

What is the Genetic Choir? Click here!

Genetic Choir on Europa Cantat

There is a discovery atelier of The Genetic Choir on the European Choir Festival in Utrecht, Europa Cantat 2009:

21st of July 2009, 10:00-12:30, Lutherse Kerk, Utrecht

You could join it by buying a day pass to the festival - find all information on

Monday, June 8, 2009

Genetic Choir concert on KlankKleurFestival

The Genetic Choir is giving a concert on the KlankKleurFestival in Amsterdam!

date: Thursday, 11th of June 2009

place: Uilenburger Synagoge, Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 91, Amsterdam.

time: from 6 pm

entry: 5,- €

Thursday is the opening event of the KlankKleurFestival (11-14 June), with:
An exhibition of newly-made sound machines; the Genetic Choir at 8:30pm; and around 9.30pm Bach's haunting Goldberg Variations played by Priya Mitchell, Elisabeth Smalt and Evelien Prakke.

More information and the rest of the programme:

What is the Genetic Choir? Click here!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IMPS@WORK&SOUP! nr.3: Fools and Objects

the 3rd installment of Imps@work@soup! will happen in Arnhem:
What is Imps@work@soup! ? Click here.

31st May 2009: Fools and Objects
time: Soup at 18:00, Performance at 19:30
place: De Zaal, Nijhoffstraat 42, in Arnhem.

The discipline of object/puppet theatre will meet this time with a specific brand of improvised theatre:

"Fooling" is a way to compose a performance in the moment, by letting all your 'inner voices' speak. In Arnhem lives and works a group of experienced Fools who regularly give instantly composed performances. On their website: they are describing in more detail how they work. (The website is in Dutch, and Dutch language might also be used in this performance.)

For Imps@work&soup! they have started a collaboration with Thomas Johannsen to explore what object/puppet theatre has in stall for them. This collaboration will culminate in a public Fools performance on 31st of May.

performers: Anita Kooij, Edgard Geurink, Fabiƫnne Belleflamme, Pimm, Paul Greidanus and Willem-Paul Nijs
facilitation: Thomas Johannsen

What is IMPS@WORK&SOUP! ...?


Letting the world of object/puppet/visual theatre inspire the instant composition practice and vice versa, that is the general goal of the IMPS@WORK&SOUP! series.

Every time, a group of performers will work together for a short period prior to the performance evening. The focus of the work will be a question or quest that crosses the boundary between at least two disciplines or peformance practices (from the world of instant composition on the one hand and the world of visual/puppet/object theatre on the other hand).

As improvisation is a practice that lives from a strong and generous relationship between audience and performers, we are having food (soup!) on every performance night and are eating together with our audience. An inspired cook is invited each time to compose the menu.


27-10-2008: Music, Movement & Laundry
Dance and live music meet huge amounts of objects, all connected to the washing process

24-11-2008: The Body of Shadow
Instant composition dance engages with shadow theatre techniques

31-05-2009: Fools and Objects
The improvisation practice of 'Fooling' meets working with single objects

Below, you can find a more detailed description of the philosophy and inspiration for these interdisciplinary meetings.

Feel free to contact me if you like:
My e-mail: johannsen{DOT}t{AT}gmail{DOT}com



The first part of the title pays homage to the definition of improvisation as coined by Enrique Pardo: “Improvisation is imps at work”, hereby refering to the little demons/spirits that are according to folklore often of mischievous intend, living along the borders of our reality.
In the same line of thinking, he defines an impuls as 'an imp giving you a push'. Uncensored thoughts, unplanned movements, sudden unexplainable feelings, these are imps at work in and through us.
In object/puppet theatre, we usually intend to give life to inanimate objects. But there is also the notion that this proces is not so much us giving life to an object, but rather that we are trying to discover 'it's life'. So we allow for the possiblity that there is knowledge (or content/spirit) in every material and that it can teach us how to handle it. Of course there is usually an interplay between ourselves and the material, so it might be hard to define who's imps are at work when we engage with an object or a puppet.
When working on a stone sculpture, Andy Goldsworthy says: “I try to understand the stone”. This is on the one hand a practical/concrete notion, gathering information about the handling of the stone by working with it, but also an intuitive one: The information cannot easily be put into words, and the resulting stone sculpture is a mixture of Andy's intention with the stone, and the stone's response to that intention. Which is to say: Objects/materials have an inside (spirit? imp?) that is only accessible by working with them. And this 'unconscious'/inconcrete aspect of the material can be unraveled by engaging with it concretely.
To me, these definitions give a picture of the way our unconscious or intuitive selves are in play whenever we are improvising. First of all: Improvisation is more than just a clever, virtuoso act of an artist handling his discipline. Improvisation is the attempt to let those 'imps' speak to you and through you, meaning that we are trying to unveil the unconscious reality that is present in the here and now, and work with it. But also: The best route to working with this part of reality is through concreteness: A stone is a stone. Work with it. Don't get sentimental.

So one thing is to invite our intuitive or unconscious selves to come out and play with us. But that is not where it stops. There is no use in just taking the lid off our 'inside world' and throw everything what is in there out on the stage. There is work to be done.
“In dreams begin responsibilities”: When we bring this 'other world' into this world, we have the responsibility to handle it: Any impuls, any action is a theatrical (or musical/visual/...) fact that asks to be cared for.
One thing is to 'know your tools': Know the discipline that you are working with. But more importantly, the act of taking responsibility in itself means that we have to work. That is also why instant composition (building a piece, in front of an audience) has little in common with the notion of 'improvising freely'. With the first step, the first picture, the first word being uttered, there is no freedom anymore: Anything that follows will have a relationship to what is already there, and we as performers have to take care of that relationship.
“Free play” is certainly an important aspect of improvising. But “taking responsibility for what is there”, is just as decisive an ability. And combining both without smothering the valuable quality of one or the other is what constitutes the work.

'Soup' has a lot of associative meanings, but the concrete meaning to Imps@work&soup! is that there is a cook who is making a soup for us and the audience in the beginning of the evening.
Soup is food, and therefore directly related to our bowels - maybe the most unconscious parts of our bodies. Making soup, on the other hand, is very concrete work. And good cooking requires an intuitive understanding of ingredients and processes which, again, you gather through the working knowledge of concrete experience.
But most importantly, soup is nourishing and warm. There is a giving aspect to sharing soup with each other, which is, for me, also central to the notion of instant composition. If I have no intention to give, it does not make sense to invite people to come and watch me improvising.
If you want a soup to be nourishing, there also needs to be some content in it. Which means that instant composition is blatantly off balance if it is mainly circling around the process or the experience of the performers. Thinking about improvisation as something that needs to be nourishing for your audience as well as for yourself helps avoiding this trap of self-centeredness. Of course one shouldn't be trapped either by wanting to fulfill the audience's (supposed) expectations. So the work is again in finding the balance.
I cannot always make soup that is to everybody's gusto. But I can take responsibility to make a tasty and nourishing soup, according to my best knowledge of both ingredients and eaters.
Last but not least, soup is gathering: a mixture of ingredients in the same pot. And there, time is another important aspect. Time to let the different ingredients work on each other and transform the soup into something that is not merely the sum of all the parts. Remember how soup can develop extraordinary taste, after the leftovers have been sitting in the pot for one night?

I hope this gives you some idea. Feel free to contact me and I hope to see you on one of the nights!

Thomas Johannsen

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meeting / Music and dance dialogue, May 2009

The master has said that writing never expresses words completely and that words never express thoughts completely and that thoughts never express movement completely and that movement is everything that touches the space.
Improvisation is an art that gives and demands...
And dialogue is improvisation.

Makiko Ito and Valeria Primost: dance / Michael Fischer: sax, violin / Marcos Baggiani: drums / Anne van Balen: lights

Wednesday, May 20th, 21 hrs
De Wittenstraat 100, Amsterdam

Thursday, May 21st, 20 hrs

Rotterdamsestraat 71, Den Haag

070 350 60 09

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Summer Intensive Dance Improvisation Workshop in Italy

Italy Tuscany 2-8 August 2009 lead by Marisa Grande
Study and Practice of dance as an ongoing activity interwoven with the everyday movement of life
A whole experience of being and living together where our dance can emerge as a natural and challenging way to a deeper and authentic communication

In the movement training we use body alignment, yoga, experiential anatomy and partnering work to explore and experience technical principles and aspects of the body to attune the "instrument" and discipline the mind, engaging into a deep physicality. The work focuses on the development of a kinesthetic sense of the body, increasing awareness of the body in motion.
In instant composition we practice our capacity to make dances and our natural ability to compose in the moment.
Developing directly from the physical experience we tap into the world of dance as a language and open up to its power of communication through composition.
We learn to articulate our dance while keeping our body-mind present and available. We train our capacity to make choices by being present and tuned to the moment, perceiving and moving as one organic action.

In this week emphasis will be given upon process of creation and decision making to exercise and practice a specific mind that can think and choose in a dynamic and ever changing context. We will practice dancing and dance making as a way of being and relating.

Information and Inscription

Monday, February 16, 2009

Genetic Choir in concert

The first public performance of the Genetic Choir is coming up!

Come and listen in on Friday, the 20th of February in the Smart Project Space, Amsterdam.

We are a humble part of a bigger event called 'Slow Future', kicking off the evening at 20:30 with half an hour of vocal instant composition.

But there is loads more:

Hisako Horikawa (J) - dance, co-founder of Body Weather with Min Tanaka, Pierre Mansire (F) - Action Light Installation, ETC: Jacques Foschia (BE) - clarinet and radio waves, Anthony Carcone (F) - disturbed string instruments, DFF (US) - sheet metal , Eric Thielemans (BE) - drums, 'A Snare is Not a Bell', Andy Moor (UK) - electic guitar, Genetic Choir (NL), Amstel Quartet & Ivo Bol (NL) - saxophone quartet and computer, Doron Hirsch (IS) - butoh inspired dance, Anani Dodji Sanouvi (SEN) - dance , Emma Nik Thomas (IRE) - dance, Marije Nie (NL) - tapdance, Hilary Jeffery (UK) - trombone, drones, Vilbjorg Broch (DK) - performance, Slow Food Amsterdam - slow food tasting

Friday 20 Feb 2009

Smart Project Space
Arie Biemondstraat 105-113 Amsterdam
Food tasting Slow Food Amsterdam @ 19:30
program starts @ 8:30 pm
Entrance €7,50

See for more information:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Genetic Choir dates February-July 2009

The next open session is Sunday, 1st of February, 15:00-18:00

Send me an e-mail if you'd like to take part: johannsen{DOT}t{AT}gmail{DOT}com

If you want to know what the Genetic Choir is, look here:

The other dates (regular sessions, for those who have joined the Genetic Choir):

22 March
05 April
10 May
7 June
5 July

see you around!

Thomas Johannsen