Movements: On dramaturgy and contemporary dance and performance, with Bojana Bauer, Oct.8

Dance in the XX century can be observed through a series of diverse attempts to take a position of difference in relation to laws of theater poetics and dramaturgy of development. This desire of demarcation is explored through different artistic practices and schools of thought, meeting many paradoxes and ambiguities. Knowing this, it is never the less interesting to have the contemporary dance scene in Europe claim quite high and loud the practice of dramaturgy.

Emerging in a period of important mutations of the dance field, dramaturgy can be understood as a symptom of two processes. One is the exhaustion of the medium, or what we could consider as Artur Danto’s “end of art” applied to dance. And the other is the shift in the modes of work and production, redistributing economic, political and social factors in the contemporary dance field. Both of these mutations inscribe dance in a much larger network of social, political, economical, artistic and aesthetic contexts. And somewhat tautologically, dramaturgy seems to be a reflexive response to this mutation and complexity.

But in order to be more specific regarding the status and the function of dramaturgy in contemporary dance, I suggest in this workshop to look back into what could be the seed of dramaturgical thinking in the practice and theory of dance itself and to construct the concept of dance dramaturgy from there. This would mean to follow the transformations of the concepts of dance, movement and choreography and their relations to the issues of composition, structure, representation and theatricality. Then movement and choreography appear not as components of theatrical dance medium, but as open concepts able to form new configurations. This can approach us for example to the idea that drama (as act of tension) is inherent to the sensorium, giving some insight to notions such as embodied dramaturgies.


Bojana Bauer is a dance and performance theorist and a dramaturge. She received professional dance training in Belgrade, where she was a member of National Theatre Ballet and studied dance theory and aesthetics at the University Paris 8. She is currently carrying out a PhD in aesthetics and theory of performing arts at University Paris 8 – École Doctorale EDESTA. After being active as a producer in Alkantara Festival in Lisbon, she is based in Paris since 2007. In 2011-2012 academic year she started teaching Master course in choreographic analysis, dance and performance theory at the Dance Department of Paris 8 University and a BA course in dance history and theory at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Nantes Métropole. She is active in public talks and lectures in institutions such as National Academy of the Arts in Bergen or DasArts, and different academic or extra-academic symposia. As a dramaturge, she has been collaborating with choreographers Latifa Lâabissi, Vera Mantero, Mário Afonso, and the visual and performance artist Pedro Gomez-Egaña. Bauer’s writing and essays are published in Repères, The Walking Theory, and Performance Research amongst others.



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