"I was able to shut off my improv brain."
If you visit a place to do improv, I think this is the best compliment you can get. And we got it.
It is November and our improv ‘rock band’ Dizzy & the Pit Kittens was back on ‘the road’. This time to our lovely friends in Vienna, Austria. Agnes, Georg and the other players of Quintessenz welcomed us in their city, their homes and their stage.
I had the pleasure of not just teaching an open workshop, but also work with the very talented Quintessenz players themselves. I can tell you: Dancing for Dummies with very experienced improvisers is so inspiring.
Because dance is a different skill, almost everyone is thrown back into feeling like a beginner. Say hello again to fear, excitement, taking hurdles and the pride of achieving something new. I love witnessing that. And them dancing for me, of course.
That weekend Jochem, Peter and I got to teach in open workshops for beginners and advanced. I found that the Austrian improvisers are modest, but very trusting to try anything I ask them to. That turned into some great scenes and dance moves. We were one hyper bunch at the lunch afterwards. (Did I mention the Viennese also serve great food? Oh my!)
Several of the students of our workshops attended the show we did with Quintessenz at 7stern that night. This hip and happening cafe in Vienna had a stage set in a cozy living room setting.
It looked like that was going to be a challenge for the dynamic nature of our Whirlpool format (we move a lot and we never leave the stage). But by making use of the entire room, the limitations became inspirational for us as performers.
We played in front, behind and in between the audience. It was a show about the power of beauty, a father that passed away, a kitchen design and lots of rubber chickens and their offspring. A lovely experience with such an involved audience.
In the second half Quintessenz joined us on the stage for a brand new format: Wiener Cafeetje. A format where we combined the mutual trust and curiosity to ask each other personal questions and play scenes inspired by them. Some amazing stuff happened on that stage. We all wanted to do this again.
The next couple of days we spend sightseeing, christmas market shopping, hiking in nature, going out, visiting musea and sleeping in. All of which was made possible by the wonderful and awfully talented Agnes, Georg and Lukas. We were able to 'shut off' for a weekend. And it was fantastic.
Also Vielen Dank to all the other Quintessenz players Gerit, Conny, Sebastien, Marc, the musician Christine, all the workshop participants, the audience, Claire and my fellow Kitties.