“The Science of Joint Improvisation”

The first “Joint Improvisation Meeting” (JIM)


4-6 of November 2015

Paris, France


Asaf  Bachrach (UMR 7023 CNRS/ Paris 8)

Ivan Magrin-chagnolleau (ACTE,CNRS/Paris 1)

Lior Noy (Weizmann Institute, IL)

Joint Improvisation Meeting 2015 from CNRS Site POUCHET on Vimeo.

general aims:

We understand joint improvisation as an artistic form involving two or more performers engaging in multiple real-time interactions: with each other, with the audience and with the emerging content. Improvisers freely explore, within some boundaries, a large space of possibilities for new joint discoveries.

While joint improvisation has long standing history in dance, music and theatre, its scholarship as a unified phenomenon, in particular from a scientific perspective, is still in its infancy. Moreover, the perspective of joint improvisation is useful in studying a range of human phenomena beyond the boundaries of the artistic arena, including conversation, scientific co-discovery and the dynamics of groups operating in emergency situations.

The “Science of Joint Improvisation” meeting aims to bring together researchers from a number of different fields to establish a rigorous study of joint improvisation. First, the conference will bring together researchers that currently apply a scientific approach to study joint improvisation, using different paradigms – verbal report analysis, kinematic measurements, brain imaging and mathematical modeling.  Second, the conference is open to researchers from different subfields of cognitive and behavioral sciences, social sciences and philosophy that study topics highly related to group improvisation, such as group creativity, aesthetic perception, linguistics, kinesthetic empathy and the human ‘mirror system’. We also see joint improvisation as a specific case of joint action, and look forward to contributions of experts from this growing field. Contributions from practitioners of improvisation will also be welcome.

The aim of this meeting is to foster scientific investigation of joint improvisation as a unique phenomenon, and as a rich novel ground for an ecological study of a number of central questions regarding human nature. The workshop is supported by the DIM cerveau & pensée (Ile de France).

full program:


Videos from the event:




Christian Keysers

“Brain to Brain approaches to joint actions”


Patrick Healey

“Improvising Interaction”


Saul Albert

“Extemporary movement: an interactional account of partner dance improvisation”


Tommi Himberg

“Mirroring improvised hand movements in a dyad”


Ashley Walton

“Musical Improvisation: Spatiotemporal patterns of coordination”


“Quantifying JI” roundtable


Ivan Magrin­ Chagnolleau

“Joint­ Improvisation in Music and Dance: Some Preliminary Phenomenological Considerations on Improvisation as an Enactive Process”


Uri Alon

“Going into the unknown in science and art”


Valeria Gazzola

“From me and you to we: how our brain integrates our actions and emotions when we interact”


Guillaume Dumas

“Operationalizing Social Neuroscience through Human­Human and Human­Machine Interactions”


Michael Schober

“How much do jazz improvisers share understanding with each other and with their listeners?”


Neta Spiro
“Joint improvisation in music therapy: characterising interaction in individual sessions with children with autism spectrum disorders”


Julien Laroche

“Being together when time is improvised: interactive coordination in pedagogical improvisations”


Rachel­Shlmoit Brezis

“Testing the limits – and potential ­ of joint improvisation: Motor skills, social skills and interpersonal synchronization in adults with autism spectrum disorders”


“Beneficial JI” roundtable


Erin Manning

Carrying the Feeling


Steven Brown

“Deconstructing “joint improvisation”
What is “joint” and what is “improvisational”


Natalie Sebanz

“Acting together without planning ahead?


Caroline Cance, Gilles Cloiseau and Amandine Pras

“There could be ten seconds where everyone
is connected and you feel really joined by the same thread and it’s really magical”


Ati Citron

“Improvising in Sign Language and Gestures”


“Improvising together” roundtable


Invited speakers:

Prof. Uri Alon (Weizmann Institute, IL)

Prof. Steven Brown (McMaster University)

Prof. Ati Citron (Theatre, Haifa University)

Dr. Guillaume Dumas (Inst. Pasteur, Paris)

Matthieu Gaudeau (danseur/comedian, Paris)

Dr. Valeria Gazzola (University of Amsterdam)

Prof. Patrick Healey (Queen Mary)

Prof. Christian Keysers (University of Amsterdam)

Joelle Leandre (Musician, France)

Prof. Erin Manning (Concordia University, Montreal)

Prof Michael Schober (New School, NYC)

IMG_20151104_112459386 IMG_20151106_164501530 IMG_20151106_164204210 IMG_20151106_160521481 IMG_20151106_111034346 IMG_20151105_175906601 IMG_20151105_175734649 IMG_20151105_175501570 IMG_20151105_172045622 IMG_20151105_172040202 IMG_20151105_172036966 IMG_20151105_172034149 IMG_20151105_164147143 IMG_20151105_164139237 IMG_20151105_164133701 IMG_20151105_164126661 IMG_20151105_164119012 IMG_20151105_164030983 IMG_20151105_162409129 IMG_20151105_152600584 IMG_20151105_150826252 IMG_20151105_150814750 IMG_20151105_150829312 IMG_20151105_150900578 IMG_20151105_150909988 IMG_20151104_190655270 IMG_20151104_190700010