Van Reipen Collective
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An ongoing investigation into improvisation as performance

In addition to its productions, VRC is dedicated to the study and practice of multidisciplinary improvisation as performance.  We call this work The Uncarved Block.

The Uncarved Block is sometimes practiced with only our bodies in an empty space - using words, song, sound, movement, and dance.  At other times we add instruments, props/objects, costumes and light. 

Unlike a great deal of theatrically based improvisation, The Uncarved Block embraces the abstract, and often steers clear of traditional dialogue and concrete scene settings. 

The work of the Uncarved Block is considered an end in itself, which can be presented to a public as performance.  It is also used to generate ideas in rehearsals for other pieces, including this project.

It is the challenge of beginning with an uncarved block. Entering the void, being present now, listening, listening, and exploring the limitlessness.

The primary practitioners of The Uncarved Block are Lauren Farber, Richard Gross, Gary Heidt, Kyungmi Lee, Steven Dworkin, and Cassandra V Chopourian.

Additionally, we have had the good fortune of having special workshops led by improvisation practitioner David Finkelstein of Lake Ivan Performance Group.

THE UNCARVED BLOCK.  Lauren Farber.  Video still.