Our Story

The Open Dance Ensemble, based in New York City and founded in January 2017, presents live, self-conducted improvised dance performances to share the excitement, joy, and beauty of dance with our audiences. Following in the footsteps of the Judson Church Theater, where improvisation first became a part of modern dance in 1962, and drawing upon Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio conducted music improvs which began in 1974, the Open Dance Ensemble created self-conducted improvisation, a new form of dance choreography in which the movers not only improvise but also conduct each other as the performance unfolds.

We are interested in the aesthetics of dance and have no political agenda. Our dance philosophy can be traced to Immanuel Kant: “ Taste is the faculty of estimating an object or a mode of representation by means of a delight or aversion apart from any interest.” (The Critique of Judgement,1793). We hope to share the excitement, joy and beauty of dance with our audiences. Nevertheless, the quasi-collective way we create and perform could be viewed as a metaphor for social or political organization and as such may be relevant to the certain issues of the day.

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