Statement on Dramaturgy

Performance Research Sep 2009English
Volume 14, Issue 3, September 2009

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Having worked for several years in a collective that gathers together two dramaturgs, a philosopher and four dancer-choreographers, there are a few conclusions and deviations that have sedimented over time and that still trigger our thinking in practice:

– dramaturgy is the ultimate space of power in theatre due to its prescriptiveness, its always already emergent nature and the obviousness of its strategies. Dramaturgy is always already there, even if we don’t focus on it; its perspectivality excludes the surplus of all that is vague and volatile for the clarity of its strategy to proceed.

– We as a group of artists were interested in the productive rather than the reactive politics of performance.

– Our ‘products’ (performances) do not represent the relational aspects of authorship, the micropolitics of the group or the organizational aspects of collaboration, but our relations influence the protocols of performance (not dramaturgy). Our relations are not thematized but translated into the procedures or paths of the performance (two solos presented as a duet; discussions on the piece within the performance; ready-made performance; non-lineair genetics of the meterial etc.).

– Collaboration between all artists included is there for further individuation (not in terms of authorship but in terms of individuated experience in perception, language and productive force).

– Performances are only markers in time, singular results of the homogeneity of the past in the here-and-now, but we bet on the force of inventiveness, of the time-to-come.

– A notion of dramaturgy has become a metaphor for perspectivalization and disciplinarization of knowledge produced in the autonomous artistic practice; dramaturgy either prescribes or reflects new social relations within a performance; it might serve as a blueprint for a new social narrative.