Improvisation Summer Course Amsterdam

This website will be up dated by November 2017 with the information for the Improvisation Summer Course Amsterdam 2018

1396061_662321180470804_1975253617_nThe improvisation summer course has been an annual Amsterdam event since 2009. The aim of the improvisation summer course is to provide a platform for musicians, vocalist, actors, dancers and performance artists to engage in intensive study alongside weekend performance events so that they can re-consider and re-present real time performance in the ever evolving time we live in. For 2017, we have moved the Amsterdam Improvisation summer course to the OT301 cultural center.

Archive 2009 to 2017 



This information is from the Improvisation Summer Course 2017

Artistic directors: Katie Duck, Manuela Tessi and Miri Lee

Course Content:

Music Theater workshop Katie Duck July 24 to August 18, four weeks, 13:30-17:30, four hours a day, Monday to Friday, Studio 1. My theater music workshop aims to provide the practice of performance presence and composition within a multi disciplinary format. I use games, exercises, lectures, scores and sessions alongside group and individual feedback. Microphones and sound system will be available in the playing space to experiment with music, singing, sound and/or text. Body and performance presence is equally introduced and shared with all of the artists without prejudice towards their given disciplines or backgrounds. I will invite musicians from Amsterdam to join me in the finale two hours of the workshop periodically. (guest musicians). Further information about the artist, content and prices

(Mary Oliver has experienced a family emergency and will not be able to attend the summer course as a musician for the Music Dance workshop)

Manuela Tessi July 24 to August 4, two weeks, 18:00-21:00, three hours a day, Monday to Thursday, Studio 1. Our Music dance workshop will explore the languages and collaboration options that evolve around real time composition for musicians and dancers. Traditionally, music and dance has been viewed as similar art forms. This workshop will guide the dancers and musicians towards an experiential context with an emphasis on questioning how to compose the body in a sonic filled space and how to compose sound with a body in space. List of the musicians who will be filling in for Mary Oliver on this page:  Further information about the artist, content and prices

Movement classes Miri Lee and and Manuela Tessi July 25 to August 18.  Four weeks, 10:30-12:30, two hours, Monday and Friday, Bodlabot studio, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Studio 1. We are two diverse teachers who have discovered our material for movement classes by way of our shared experiences in front of public’s in real time events and compositions and within our specific research in somatic education, traditional Korean dance, contemporary dance and improvisation dance.  Further information about the artists, content and prices

Intensive Workshops:

Improvisation/hip hop workshop Melvin Fraenk July 29 Saturday 11:00-17:00, 6 hours. This workshop leads towards a  Freakatoni Witchy Weekend performance that evening, Studio 1.

Improvisation workshop – Imprography Miri Lee July 30 Sunday 14:00-18:00, 4 hours. This workshop leads towards a Freakatoni Witchy Weekend, Studio 1.

Alexander workshop Noortje Kohne July 30 Sunday 11:00-13:00, 2 hours. This workshop is an introduction practice and lecture about the Alexander technique. Through out the four week course, Noortje is available for one to one Alexander lessons by appointment, Bodlabot studio.

Improvisation workshop Tashi Iwaoka August 5 Saturday 11:00-15:00, 6 hours. Leads towards a Freakatoni performance that weekend, Studio 1

Voice and sound workshop Vilbjorg Broch August 6 Sunday 11:00-13:00, 2 hours, Bodlabot studio.

Improvisation workshop Kenzo Kusuda August 6 Sunday 14:00 to 18:00, 4 hours, Studio 1.

Lighting workshop Ellen Knops August 16 Wednesday 18:00-20:00, 2 hours, Studio 1.

Further information about the artists, content and prices

Freakatoni Witchy Weekends:

The improvisation summer course provides a performance platform under the title Freakatoni Witchy Weekends. These events provide a situation for the artists to use their real time art practice in the presence of public performance. Performances take place in the main space Studio 1 every Friday and Saturday, 20:00-22:00 through out the summer course with one matinee performance on the final Sunday 15:00-19:00. Doors open by 19:30 and there is a €5 charge at the door for anyone who is not on the theater music or music dance workshops. Freakatoni Witchy Weekends are two 30 to 40 minute sets with a break, allowing for 10 to 15 minutes for each pieces. A local artist is invited each weekend to take the role as MC with an introduction at the beginning of each set. Pieces can be ensembles or solos by musicians, dancers, performers, vocalists or a mix. For the first three weekends, the performances are casual without the use of the lighting equipment. In the final weekend the evenings and matinee will be placed in a festival format. There is a run through of the festival, with real time light designer Ellen Knops on August 17, 18:00-22:00.

Every Monday and Tuesday, Manuela will book the weekend events. After the event is booked, Manuela and Miri will set appointments for tutorials to discuss, advice and design the upcoming weekend. The summer course encourages the participants to present material that reflect the studies taking place in the workshops, or if the piece has been produced previously, that it is taken out of its original context and approached from a different angle. The setting of the of the Freakatoni Witchy weekends is designed to support the artists to take risk with their creative choices.

Signing up for an event is exclusive to those who are registered in the music theater workshop and/or the music dance workshop or in one of the intensive workshops that lead towards weekend events. Local and visiting artists book events in advance with Katie in the first two weekends in a mix with summer course participants. In the third week is reserved for summer course participants only, the fourth week is for summer course participants who are registered for three or four weeks. If you are on the course for less than three or four weeks, you can participate in the fourth weekend if you are invited by an artist who has done three to four weeks. If you  are doing less than three or four weeks and have participated in the summer course in previous years, you can participate in the fourth week end. The course records the events each weekend and then places the videos on a web page for the participants to view and feedback. The course provides studio rehearsal bookings and a promotional campaign gathering local artist, supporters and visitors in Amsterdam during the summer period.

Feakatoni Witchy Weekends dates and lists.

Freakatoni Witchy weekend videos

Tutorials: are offered throughout the summer course Noortje is available for one to one Alexander lessons by appointment, Bodlabot studio (€20 per session) and Mary Oliver for music sessions (€20 per session).

Tutorials with Manuela and/or Miri are manditory for anyone who is doing a Freakatoni Witchy weekend event. List of appointments for Manuela and Miri’s tutorials are here – Tutorial appointments Miri and Manuela

Space booking rehearsals:

Manuela will book rehearsal space Mondays and Tuesdays once an Freakatoni event has been scheduled. Rehearsal space bookings are exclusive to the participants who are registered in the music theater workshop and/or music dance workshop and  only for events leading towards the weekends. Rehearsal spaces are in the Bodlabot in the evenings for the first two weeks. The main space Studio 1 is added for rehearsals. in the third and fourth weeks. Katie and Mary are available to advice but It is mandatory to have tutorial appointments with Miri and/or Manuela about rehearsal processes towards the real time performance weekends.

Space booking schedule for rehearsals towards Freaktoni events

Navigating your way through the course:

The  timetable of the summer course contains three main areas: The music theater workshop with Katie Duck and guest musicians, four weeks, 4 hours a day, five days a week, 13:30-17:30, the music dance workshop with Mary Oliver and Manuela Tessi,  first two weeks, 3 hours a day, four days a week, 18:00-21:00. The movement classes, four weeks,  2 hours a day, five days a week, 10:30-12:30. Rehearsals take place in the evenings for the first two weeks in the Bodlabot studio. In the final two weeks rehearsals take place in the evenings in both the Bodlabot and in the mornings and evenings in the main space Studio 1. Alexander lessons with Noortje, tutorials with Katie, Mary, Miri and Manuela, rehearsals and the Freakatoni events are available by appointment and bookings through out the course. For anyone doing the music theater workshop and/or the music dance workshop, you do not have extra costs for these on going activities, for the exception of the Alexander lessons. If you are doing the full four weeks, you receive  2 Alexander lessons and the Alexander intensive workshop free of costs. The intensive workshops take place one time only and range between 2, 4 and 6 hours. If you are doing at least 3 weeks or the full four weeks, you receive a reduction fee for the intensive workshops.

You can register for one day, one week, two weeks, three weeks or the full four weeks of the summer course, combining workshops and classes how you choose. You have to register with advance payments into the Stichting Magpie account to attend the music theater workshop and/or the music dance workshop. You do not need to register for intensive workshops or movement classes. You do not need to be registered in the music theater workshop or music dance workshop to attend intensive workshops or the movement classes. The facility of rehearsal space bookings, tutorials and Freakatoni Witchy Weekends bookings are exclusive to those who are registered in the music theater workshop and/or music dance workshop. If you are registered in the music theater and or music dance workshops, you can register and do payments in advance for movement classes. If you register for a minimum of five movement classes, you receive a further reduction fee for these classes.

Quick look at the Improvisation Summer Course 2017 graphic calendar Week 1 and 2 / Week 3 and 4

Quick look at the full price list July 24 to August 20 Improvisation Summer Course Amsterdam

Registration Workshops Music Theater, Music Dance and Movement classes: 

Contact  Katie Duck by email ( or go to CONTACT with a motivation letter and CV to register for either the music theater and/or music dance workshops and movement classes. It helps if you have a reference as to how you found out about the course. When you register for the either of these workshops or a combination of these workshops, you can decide to book movement classes and receive a reduction. Katie will send to you an official invitation from Stichting Magpie when you are accepted on the course. You can use this invitation to pursue funding and/or visa purposes. If you wish to attend the full four weeks, please register early as these places are limited. If you plan to attend weeks or days at a time, it is best to reserve your place in advance or we may need to hold your reservation if the studio that day or week is too full. We accept registration for days and weeks at a time right up until the course begins and while the course is in progress.You do not need to register or make payments in advance for the Intensive workshops (cash on arrival). You can attend to do movement classes without registration or payments in advance (cash on arrival). Movement classes are limited to 10 students per day. We recommend you register your place.

Improvisation Summer Course Amsterdam 2017 on call Staff in the OT301 space

Locations: OT301  Overtoom 301, 1054 HW Amsterdam The Netherlands / Link to routes

Housing in Amsterdam:  You are responsible to book your own housing in Amsterdam. Katie will collect sublet options from Amsterdam locals who leave their flats for the summer (July/August 2017).  You can use the link below to find updates of rooms and flats to sublet, websites to search housing, student housing to rent during the summer 2017. This page is being up dated by May 2017 up to when the course begins July 24 2017

Updated by May web page with Housing for the summer 2017 Amsterdam

Welcome to the Improvisation Summer course Amsterdam 2017. Read this if you have registered for the summer course.

  • August 18-19-20 Freakatoni Witchy Weekend festival. Friday and Saturday August 18 and 19 20:00-22:00. Sunday August 20 15:00-17:00. OT301 Overtoom 301, 1054 HW, Amsterdam, Doors open 19:30. Begins 20:00. Entrance €5 Musicians, Vocalist, Actors, Dancers, Singers, Text artists meet to re-consider and re-present real time performance.
  • Noortje
  • April 6, 7, 8 Thursday, Friday and Saturday Abandon Human Sharon Smith Katie Duck (performance) Emese Csornai (Light and set) DOCK 11, Kastanienallee 79, 10435 Berlin / click the photo for more information


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