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DECEMBER 3 & 5
Postmodern art often moves to eliminate boundaries between the artist and the viewer, inviting audiences into a participatory relationship rather than leaving them passive observers. When the D.C. 4th Annual International Improvisation Plus+ Festival kicks off, dancers, performance artists, and musicians will blur art and audience as they perform without stages at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. “This Space Occupied!” the first of two festival performances, is a dynamic, interactive experience, where viewers walk through the gallery as performers create their art in and around the Corcoran’s spaces—a joyful collaboration of architecture, movement, and music. “Improv is about the moment,” says festival curator and dancer-choreographer Maida Withers. “Because the artist is participating in the act of creating the thing itself, they’re part of what’s happening…They suddenly are in the dance itself.” Saturday’s performance, “Expect the Unexpected,” plays with artist-audience boundaries in a different way: Musicians will scatter throughout Marvin Betts Theatre while the artists move fluidly from house seats to the stage to present 15-minute improv sets. This truly international festival features artists from four continents, including Tibet’s first and only modern dancer. The artists will also give workshops in movement, music, and contact improvisation. “This Space Occupied!” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 17th & New York Ave. NW. Free. “Expect the Unexpected” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at George Washington University’s Marvin Betts Theatre, 800 21st St. NW. $10. Workshops from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5 at George Washington University’s Dance Studio J, 2131 G St. NW. $12-25. (202) 994-0739. (Elizabeth Murdock)