Hybridity


Katherine Profeta defines the word hybridity in reference to Ralph’s attraction. Ralph is a choreographer Profeta uses throughout her book.  Hybridity is something heterogeneous in origin or composition. In her book, Dramaturgy in Motion, Profeta refers to it as a mixture of people. She speaks of Ralph’s intercultural practice room that encompasses many different beings (169). Ralph had many dancers present, all different from each other. This difference ranged from gender, culture to race and ethnicity. This was beneficial as they were able to give feedback based on their own past experiences. This is what made him so attracted to hybridity.

Throughout the chapter, Profeta clarifies how hybridity remains a misjudged concept. Postcolonial scholars remain confused as whether hybridity is bad or good. She states that it can either fight supremacy with cultural ambiguity or show their dominance with interracial reproduction (171). Yet, hybridity is unavoidable. Using Ralph’s practice room, Profeta showcases this argument. She states how one body has to interact with many cultures and live amongst them. So, the argument was never about whether it was good or bad as it is both but of how it was used. Profeta states that Ralph’s manifestation of hybridity within his practice room stemmed from the difficult nature of the concept (171). He valued how hard it was to fuse many things together, cultural wise, and have them work well. Even his dancers were a hybrid of themselves. Them being of one race and trained in another. With all this fusion of cultures, Ralph is able to form dances that represents places he may have never visited but as dancers whom are a part of that place.

The concept of hybridity used as a way of cultural ambiguity stood out the most for me in this chapter. This stemmed from a personal question I have had for some time. This is how beneficial can cultural mixing be to a society if it erases all the differences? My argument was that while it may mitigate chances of cultural dominance, it can lead to other forms discrimination. And also, it may erase the identity of a certain group of people as there is no say in what aspects are being held. Thus, hybridity to me was never a great answer. Yet, in this sense I can see the beauty in hybrid cultures. As having more than one culture represented ensures that the dance distorts none.

Works Cited

Merriam-Webster "Definiton of hybrid." Accessed 8 Jan 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hybridity. Profeta, Katherine. "Interculturalism" Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance. 168-209. USA: The University of Wisconsin, 2015.