Vocabulary, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, is “the body of words used in a particular language” and “a range of artistic or stylistic forms, techniques, or movements”. In Dramaturgy in Motion, Katherine Profeta also mentioned “movement vocabularies”, and these vocabularies, as she clarified, “are not strictly sexual or physical but rather occur the intersection of those two realms.”(140)
“Familiarity with movement vocabularies,” Profeta states, “might help them expand the number of things they notice as they watch movement performance, and from that expansion, the facility with which thoughts about that movement arise”(140). She explains how knowing these vocabularies open up new things for ourselves to be aware of. She used the vocabularies of Laban’s system as an example of how vocabulary “generates initiating questions” and how when we answer those questions, “the motion of thought springs to life.”(142) However, she also mentioned how vocabularies can also become a limitation to the range of possibility of perception. It is “what it cannot include” and “what it inescapably prioritizes” that limits the possibilities of other thoughts(142). Finally, with vocabularies, Profeta suggests to maintain basic familiarity and skepticism at the same time(142).
I find the meaning of vocabulary in this context interesting because of how it can be a tool but also a limitation at the same time. I can now see a vocabulary as the incarnation of thousands of possibilities and also its incapability to represent some other thousands of possibilities. How Profeta suggests that we should both have familiarity and skepticism with vocabularies introduces to me a useful way to look at all kinds of knowledge and ideas. Things that we know may provide us with possibilities, but also limits other possibilities. If we could utilize the possibilities it gives us and seek for what it does not tell us at the same time, can we really practice the true value of having the knowledge.
Works CitedEnglish Oxford Living Dictionaries "Trance." Accessed 6 Jan 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/trance.