Why would I want to do InterPlay?

InterPlay has been used in a variety of contexts, mostly just for fun, connection and community building, but often yielding much more. InterPlay has been used in schools, organisations, prisons and many other settings. You can book a workshop for your group or organisation using the details on the ‘contact’ link above. Each workshop will be priced individually and tailored to your needs. You can also join regular classes just for fun.

Workshops under the banner of ‘animate arts’ specialise in InterPlay as a learning tool, and Sophia van Ruth has made this a focus of her work (click here to learn more). Information follows about what you might expect to get from a session…

Why InterPlay?

Improvised activities are inherently unpredictable and hence what you get from a session may be different each time. However, as a participant, you can expect to:

learn to work more easily with change
In this era of change (climate change, economic change, rapid technological change) we need skills for staying in the flow of our world. Learning to be comfortable with spontaneous response can help us learn how to stay connected in very direct ways to the changing world around us.

learn to co-create things together naturally 
In line with the models of the complexity sciences, group improvisational work helps us learn to genuinely self-organise and co-create together.

learn to work with all ways of knowing
Improvising in creative mediums helps us to engage with thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition together, blending all our different ways of knowing.

learn to make meaning of information in deeper and more authentic ways
When we are asked to improvise, we will generally draw on all of who we are and all of what we know as we respond. Hence, spontaneity can an increase the potential to make associations with other knowledge that we have. In addition, when we can access all of our different ways of knowing, we will naturally be making richer meaning of whatever we are ‘playing’ with.

activate your creativity
Being asked to explore ideas in non-ordinary ways can easily generate creative new perspectives and ideas. Further, a forum where the we can explore ideas in a playful spirit, and be given permission to be silly, ‘wrong’, outrageous, even boring, can unleash creativity we didn’t know we had. The affirming nature of the sessions is designed to build trust and confidence to allow ideas to wander in unexpected directions without fear of being judged harshly if they come to nothing or ‘don’t quite work’ in the end.

develop personal confidence
InterPlay offers a non-threatening forum for us to learn to feel comfortable to express ourselves in front of others and put our own ideas forward to be heard and witnessed

build the coherence of your group or community
Sharing creative expression builds community rapidly and strongly. Through such processes we will often find ourselves sharing very ‘human’ aspects of ourselves.

Improvisation, a tool for tapping our innate wisdom…

Improvisation offers a doorway into more direct modes of perception. Lisa Lipsett, who practices spontaneous painting, explains that through this style of painting “we become one with the wild spontaneous life force and learn a new way of listening.” The art of direct perception is something that is largely neglected within our modern approaches to learning and problem solving. We deal so often with abstracted knowledge from ‘experts’ who are outside of our own communities and ecological contexts. Sophia’s work is partly motivated by the question “what are the tools to help us make authentic meaning of abstracted information within our own communities and contexts?” InterPlay encourages us to develop our skills in direct perception, as we respond, in the moment, to other improvising bodies around us. Thus, helping us to reconnect in embodied ways with our world and to integrate our learnings with who we are. Further, building skills in improvising together can help us stay connected to the increasingly rapid changes in the world around us.

Many of the exercises used in InterPlay involve body movement. Dance, or body movement exercises can facilitate expression of non-intellectual knowledge, allowing us to more easily access non-literal knowledge as they are non-verbal. Many participants and facilitators describe these processes as more potent for taping our subtle personal wisdom than verbal exercises.

Participant reflections on their experiences….

InterPlay taps not only our rational knowledge, but also our ‘body wisdom’, which is not always literal or logical but often very profound. Considering that we are engaging on more subtle levels than those that can be literally described, it can be difficult to explain what one gets out of a session using words. Often the performance pieces say it so much better…. However, following are some comments that participants have made.

“you start to feel your own surface of communication [becoming] enlarged and developed”
Natalia Mironova, sociologist, Russia

“a really good exercise for taking meaning into a different realm”
Gill Wyatt, process facilitator, UK

“the actual dancing was more powerful than the thinking”
Rudy Dhont, lecturer in higher education, Belgium