Artistic Research Project involving reflexions on attention, choreographic thinking, improvisation, and space-time perception


Procrastination School (2020-2022) is a project that began by approaching a particular moment we recognize in improvised performances where you have no clue what is possible next. We can learn much from enduring this moment and trust that vibrant questions may arise.

Suddenly, Covid came to fit the project rather than the contrary. Everything was on hold and postponed somehow… So, in 2020, during the first Covid confinement in Lisbon, an online Reading Group was dedicated to thinking together about slowing down, procrastinating, sabotaging, laziness, modes of production, and, of course, about the confinement and the pandemic. Because it was one of the first online reading groups familiar with what was happening in the working, living, and moving of everyday lives, it took quite an interesting political detour.

At that time, we had also proposed a durational live event with improvisers and artists from the fields of dance and performance at the Teatro Bairro Alto called the Procrastination Marathon to happen in June 2020. When the event had to be postponed for a year (finally happening in July 2021 at the Lisbon Botanical Garden), we proposed instead to record eight interviews with two generations of dance improvisers talking about their methodologies and ideas on “improvisation,” creating the Procrastination Marathon (in other terms). These interviews focus on delaying a resolution in a creative process, recognizing that the act of delaying can lead to a fertile process of inventing inside the unknown. See excerpts from the interviews recorded online at Procrastination Marathon (in other terms).

These artists make it clear that thoughtful and organised processes of improvisation in artistic fields like dance have something to give to thinking in general; they are human tools, not just ways of creating pieces.


Sílvia Pinto Coelho (1975) is a choreographer working as a researcher at the ICNOVA (FCSH-UNL) research centre and a visiting assistant professor at the FCSH. She has a doctorate and a master's degree in Communication Sciences, a degree in Anthropology and a bachelor's degree in Dance. Since 1996 she has choreographed and participated in research processes, pedagogy, and films with collaborators from various areas.


  • 2023 Coelho, Sílvia P., «Práticas Artísticas Colaborativas - Jogos de Confronto ou Jogos de Encontro?». Revista de História da Arte - SW 12, IHA.
  • 2022 Coelho, Sílvia P., «Cerzir transpensamento com o "centro em movimento" durante o confinamento». INTERACT 37-38.
  • 2022 Coelho, Sílvia P., «Mark Tompkins at the Procrastination Marathon (in other terms)», Contact Quarterly.
  • 2021 Coelho, Sílvia P., Antunes, Rui F. «Sobre Caminhar em Confinamento»:
  • 2021 Coelho, Sílvia P. «Escola de Procrastinação, um estudo». Arte Capital.
  • 2020 Coelho, Sílvia P., Fernandes, Carla, and Vieira, Ana B. «Dance and the (Digital) Archive: survey on the field», Dance Research peer-review magazine index Scopus.
  • 2020 Coelho, Sílvia P. «Antídoto e Método: Práticas de Investigação Artística em Contexto Coreográfico». Sinais de Cena, o n.º 4. Orfeu Negro, Lisbon.
  • 2019 Coelho, Sílvia P. /Oliveira, Carlos M. «Retornos de Sísifo, a Exaustão da RE.AL e Outras Danças», jornal COREIA #1. Parasita/Circular. Lisbon.
  • 2019 Coelho, Sílvia P. «O Olhar da Onça, Delírio Socioetológico On the Edge» in Tércio, Daniel Práticas Performativas em Torno d'O Animal, 2019, INET-MD, FMH. Lisbon.
  • 2019 Coelho, Sílvia Pinto /Madeira, Cláudia, Editorial: «Notas de Campo, Cadernos em Torno de Processos e Práticas Performativas», Interact Revista Online de Arte, Cultura e Tecnologianº 28-29, Notas de Campo, Cadernos em Torno de Processos e PráticasPerformativas.
  • 2018 Coelho, S.P. «Exile - Deterritorialization in Contemporary Dance/Performance» in Pais, Ana 2018. Performance in the Public Sphere.
  • 2018 Coelho, Sílvia. «Práticas de Atenção, Ensaios de Desterritorialização e Performance Coreográfica». Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia, Dossiê A Operacionalidade do Jogo.
  • 2017 «DESTERRO – Desterritorializações na Dança/Performance Contemporânea» Performance na Esfera Pública. (Pais, A.2017).
  • 2016 «Na Casa-Espelho: Propostas de Pensamento Coreográfico» Cadernos GIPE-CIT nº36, Processos Criativos: Educação Somática e Afetos.
  • 2015 «Dançar-Pensar Enquanto Investigação e Poética: Corpo #1» Sinais de Cena nº22, APCT e CET, UL. 2015.
  • 2013 «Dançar-Pensar Enquanto Investigação e Poética: Movimento #1» in Actas do Colóquio Movimento e Mobilização Técnica, CECL, Lisboa.
  • 2013 Review of Always More Than One: Individuation’s Dance from Erin Manning in Revista de Comunicação e Linguagens nº45/46, CECL, FCSH, Lisboa.
  • 2012«The Tuning Scores of Lisa Nelson», in Go from Lisa Nelson and Scott Smith, Ciclo Improvisações/Colaborações. Auditório da Fundação de Serralves, Porto.

The picture on the header was taken by Alípio Padilha.