As mentioned in the last blog entry, improvisation is a theme yet to be addressed. This workshop sought to evaluate whether two performers transformed at the same time might encourage improvisation.
The exercise was carried out in a performance space off site, which acted as a means of determining the portability of the system and also enabled a black backdrop to be tested as an alternative to the previous white projection surfaces.
The video below illustrates the two performers playfully improvising verbally whilst in opposite gender, alternative less idealised body types against a black back drop and physical dance-like improvisation.
Early observations suggest that enabling two transformed performers to appear on stage at the same time does not immediately result in improvisation. Perhaps this is unsurprising, placing two performers unfamiliar with improvisation on a stage without a script for them to work with or a scenario designed to encourage improvisation is likely to produced the same results.
Conversation about why there was a lack of immediate improvisation gave rise to a number of suggestions including the idea that the addition of a third element for the performers to work with would give the performers something to work with and encourage improvisation. The third element could take on a number of forms, the entry of a virtual character or perhaps a virtual object that the performers could pass to each other. We all felt that a game like scenario, the throwing of a virtual (or real) ball for instance would immediately encourage play and improvisation.
There are a variety of techniques and games designed to encourage improvisation, many of these can be found on the website Impro Encyclopedia. These techniques could be used as a basis for creating improvisational interactive scenarios using the iMorphia platform and adapted to exploit the power of virtual scenography and the interactive gaming potential inherent in the Unity Games Engine.
In order to explore the potential of interactive improvisational scenarios and game like performances it is envisaged that the next stage of the research will investigate the addition of interactive objects able to respond to the virtual projected iMorphia characters.