A dispersion relation formalism for the virtual Compton scattering (VCS) reaction on the proton is presented, which for the first time allows a dispersive evaluation of four generalized polarizabilities at a four-momentum transfer Q2<~0.5 GeV2. The dispersive integrals are calculated using a state-of-the-art pion photo- and electroproduction analysis. The dispersion formalism provides a new tool to analyze VCS experiments above pion threshold, thus increasing the sensitivity to the generalized polarizabilities of the nucleon.
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