London – September 2015

Dramaturgy as an experiment of ‘working on actions’

Sat 19th – Sun 20th Sept 2015

Studio B, Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Organised by Independent Dance

Kindly hosted by Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Supported by the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund

This workshop was open to practitioners from the areas of dance, theatre, performance, visual arts and dramaturgy,  interested in moving at the limits of critical and performance practices.

Departing from the etymology of the term, we proposed to test dramaturgy as a process of ‘working on actions’,  also focusing on ‘how actions work’. In this sense, we approached dramaturgy as a working practice shared amongst collaborators and pertaining to actions both in their artistic as well as their social context.

Questions that we considered included:

  • How might we extend the idea of dramaturgy as ‘working on actions’ to suggest different types of activities – indirect or inefficient, ambiguous, interfering or even sabotaging – as dramaturgically relevant? And how could one’s thinking and doing be furthered through such activities?
  • How do actions work in a context of experimentation, research and, potentially, knowledge production?
  • What sorts of working conditions or frames are necessary for a dramaturgy that supports experimental practices in dance, choreography and performance?
  • How might dramaturgy enable a continuous dialogue between discourse and practice, leading to further artistic and social imaginings?

Going beyond any divisions between (or attempts to bridge) theory and practice, participants were invited to attend to the dramaturgical as it arises from within enquiry-led artistic processes. The workshop therefore followed a hands-on approach and included individual and group tasks, making, writing and reading, that allowed participants to share, revisit, question and assist their work through a dramaturgical perspective.