Real-Time Composition 

A workshop by João Fiadeiro

Real-time Composition is a theoretical-practical tool of improvisation in performance developed by João Fiadeiro since the 90s, which researches the decision-making and composition processes that we normally trigger following an unexpected encounter.  The aim of this practice is, in the first instance, to identify (in the midst of noise and the excess that continually challenges us) that which affects, touches and moves us. In a second instance, Real-Time Composition presents itself as a translation and sharing tool of this circumscribed sensitivity, affirming itself as a platform for experimenting with alternative modes of collaboration.

To formulate accurately and sufficiently the question that concerns us – instead of being trap in the loop of reflex and ready-made answers – is the main work to be developed and attuned during this workshop. Real Time Composition gives practitioners a set of tools so they can maintain the meta-stability of a condition by sustaining the equidistance between disquiet and situation, so as to discover, amidst so much noise, excess, and waste, what affects, touches and moves us.

This workshop will focus on the acquisition of a set of tools, which can both be used in improvisation training and practices, and be applied in dramaturgical creation within performative projects. The exercises will range from the scale model developed to simulate the operating mode of RTC in a “board game” format, to a body-scale where the operating mode and its underlying ethics will be tested in situation, developing the ability to anticipate and embrace change, while attuning the clarity and accuracy in the application of this tool.

What criteria and parameters shall we choose to take a decision or another? How to share them in a group, not letting the conversation turn into a field of competition or resignation? Real Time Composition has emerged to embody these kinds of concerns, which arise whenever we have to take decisions and make choices, both in the process of artistic creation and in improvisation moments.

From the perspective of Real Time Composition, a creative gesture cannot come from an intention or a personal projection. It has to be the consequence of an encounter. An encounter with a time, a space, a thing, an-other, an affect… The force of the encounter, its relevance, lies in its capacity to suspend our trajectory – even if only for a few milliseconds – generating doubt and wonder. This suspension is the gap that Real Time Composition needs to intervene and activate our capacity to look at ourselves from the outside as the very event unfolds. From a distance, we are able to notice details and relations that would have gone unnoticed if we had remained “trapped” inside our opinions and certainties. Real Time Composition gives us the tools that allow us to keep that time open and, by delaying the answer, discover new ways to “happen”. - João Fiadeiro 


João Fiadeiro (1965) is a Portuguese choreographer, performer, researcher and teacher. He belongs to the generation of choreographers who emerged in the late eighties in Portugal and gave rise to the New Portuguese Dance.. His works have been presented in Europe, Australia, North and South America. His activity revolves around the practice, research and the application of the method of Real Time Composition (CTR) a composition and improvisation system developed and systematized by himself which is currently studied, developed and used by various artists and researchers.

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