Mini symposium Freedom in performance?

On the relations between cognition, intuition and free will in creative processes

Together with our new partner the Dutch Society for Dance Research, we co-joint in this new mini symposium on the relations between cognition, intuition and free will in performance. We will welcome keynote speakers professor dr. Marc Slors and Joao da Silva PhD.

This mini symposium questions the relations between cognition, intuition and free will. How do these co-operate and effect the performing artist in creative processes? Does free will exist in the choice making within  creative processes? What does this imply for the relations between artistic improvisation and free will?

The bridges between the philosophy of mind, neuroscience and artistic practices can offer performing artists, art teachers and (para) medicals in the performing arts a wider and deeper understanding of the creative process.


19.00 Opening
19.15-19.45 The brain, consciousness and free will  by Marc Slors
19.45-20.15 Improvisation and free will in creative artistic processes by Joao da Silva
20.15-20.45 Panel discussion with Marc Slors and Joao da Silva.
20.45-21.00 Closing remarks

Professor Dr. Marc Slors (1966) is head of the section Philosophy of Mind and Language and director of research at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen. He has published widely on various problems connected to the mind-brain relation in journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, The Philosophical Quarterly and Erkenntnis and is frequently invited at international conferences. Whereas his publications so far were strictly academic, his first book for a wider audience—on free will and the brain—appeared in March 2012 (Amsterdam: Boom). Marc Slors is associate editor of Philosophical Explorations (Routledge).Marc Slors has received many research grants and was recently granted by NWO (Dutch Organization for Scientific Research).

Joao da Silva MA is working on a PhD on spontaneity and improvisation in performance at the University of Utrecht. Da Silva studied choreography at the European Dance Development Center in Arnhem. He was head for the ArtEZ Master of Choreography Program from 2002 till 2014 and is now associate lector for ArtEZ. He obtained his Master Degree  (cum laude) in Theater Science at the University of Utrecht. As a former dancer and choreographer his work is strongly rooted in dance practice.

Note: key notes will be in English and Dutch.

The entrance fee is 20 euros. Supporters of NCPA have free access. Students (with student card) pay only 5 euros. Registration is required by sending an email to You will receive a confirmation with information on payment.

Supporters of NCPA have free entrance to two mini symposia (value 40 euros) per year organised by NCPA and its partners. Special offer this year is if you register now, you will benefit 3 free attendances (value 60 euros). More information on becoming a supporter here. Or email us at .

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