“Fragment”, as a noun, usually refers to “a small part broken off or separated from something” or “an isolated or incomplete part of something”, while as a verb, it refers to “break or cause to break into fragments”. In the text of the section “Research” of the book Dramaturgy in Motion by Katherine Profeta, “fragments” are something that the creative process of art pieces and dramaturgs thrive on.
In the book section, fragment has the power that drives research from simply the act of compilation and organizing “existing information according to already established means of understanding” to the act of creation and creating “knowledge and meaning where there was none.” “A fragment can be both mournful and generative, gesturing back toward an implied past or forward toward what might yet be. It encapsulates both loss and possibility.” That is to say, while a fragment seems to be the representative of incompleteness and imperfection, it actually indicates numerous potentials and possibilities in the creation of art pieces. What is more, “fragment” is not static as it seems; rather, it could stimulate audiences and art-makes to “spring into motion to imagine the past or future whole(s) suggested by the part”. Also, “fragment” has the power of motivating strangeness, which means it could bring something new yet likable for dramaturgs when doing research, resulting in more discovery.
I find the word quite interesting because literally fragment means “part” and “incompleteness”, but in dramaturgs’ eyes, it could mean inspiration. To be more specific, it is actually the incompleteness that encourages dramaturgs to explore more in the creation process. Therefore, having a clear understanding of the word could help reveal the essential process of dramaturgs’ research work and how they get their inspiration and discoveries.Oxford dictionary Accessed 6 Jan 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fragment. Profeta, Katherine. 2015. Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press,