With music and music therapy colleagues from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Philippa Derrington and Nicky Haire and dancer and dance movement psychotherapist Suzi Cunningham, Professor Vicky Karkou presented and performed at the International Congress of Music Therapy in Japan.  The roundtable titled: Encounters on Stage: Exploring Embodied Empathic Improvisation as Performance, part of the Network of Research in Improvisation Concurrent (3.5) was very well received by an international audience who engaged emotionally and conceptually adding comments such as: “

“My initial feelings were that my heart was pounding and that I felt very emotional, almost like crying. I thought it was beautiful…”

  “… it cleared my thoughts and was enlightening in many ways. I felt a real sense of emotional connectedness with the performers. During the improvisation many images were conjured up in my mind, ones of mountains, seas, forests and being an ever-changing creature on a journey. I felt it was interesting to have the feeling of being a butterfly,light and free changing into the almost manic running of a person. “

 “… I feel that this is not only relevant to therapy work but also to exchange in general with other people and with life in general.”

 “I particularly found the comments from the Japanese audience members interesting. Firstly for a male chair to have broken the ‘rules’ because he felt he needed to tell you that he had cried and he was not sure why. “

The trip to Japan was followed by meetings with academics and performers in dance (met with Professor Akira Okamoto, academic, director and performer and with the one main female performer of Butoh, Ima Tenko) and music (piano: Joshua Pearl from USA, fiddle: Nicky Haire from Scotland and koto: Kuhara Sawako from Japan) amongst others.