The Topology Project
mapping the field of improvisation
The Topology Project is an organization that supports the advancement of interdisciplinary improvisation research. Currently, the organization is developing an online archive for improvisation practices. The website maps the relationships between various forms of improvisation, illuminating histories and connections across the field. By housing distinct approaches to improvisation on the same platform, The Topology Project aims to facilitate the sharing of embodied knowledge and create opportunities for collaboration.
The Topology Project is a collaboration between Emily Climer and Marie Lynn Haas, who have been developing a shared improvisational dance practice over the past ten years. The two met as students of Susan Sgorbati at Bennington College in 2008. Since that time, they've both performed as members of the Emergent Improvisation Project and developed their own improvisational movement forms, including The Recall Form, a duet practice.
Marie Lynn Haas is a New York City based movement artist and improviser. Since earning her B.A. from Bennington College, she has been a member of Susan Sgorbati’s Emergent Improvisation Project. In collaboration with Sgorbati and longtime dance partner Emily Climer, Marie co-authored the chapbook, Emergent Improvisation: on the nature of spontaneous composition where dance meets science. She also participated in the making of Emergent Forms, a film by Elliot Caplan through Picture Start Films. As part of her own research in Emergent Improvisation, Marie collaborated with Climer on the development of an improvisational duet form, The Recall Form. Together they have shown their work at the Vision Festival (NYC), the Schools Festival at the Centre Nationale de Danse Contemporaine (Angers, France), the Dance and Neuroscience Conference (NYU) and as part of Sgorbati’s Creative Research Residency at EMPAC (Troy, NY). Marie and Climer are currently working on The Topology Project, a new online platform for improvisation research. Marie also works with Jennifer Kayle on The Reciprocities Project and Tori Lawrence and Co. on the Green Mountain Film Project.
In addition to her work in dance, Marie is the founder and director of Embrace Autism in Singapore. She also works as the International Projects Coordinator for the Autism Treatment Center of America®. Her passion for this work emerged during the creation of The Recall Form and her subsequent correspondence with neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni. Marie is interested in how modes of non-verbal communication foster empathy and interaction in social contexts outside the realm of dance, particularly in therapeutic practices for children with Autism or related developmental difficulties. Her work with these children serves equally as the platform for her latest explorations in the dance studio.