Hybridity refers to mixture. It implies an action of combining two or more different elements together and come up with on one unit, a fusion. In Katherine Profeta’s book hybridity is used in the realm of dance style formation out of distinct varieties. Its production comes through a process of recursive translation.
Katherine recounts an experience from one workshop in which people built hybrid dance vocabularies. Her colleague Ralph imitated West African dancers’ movements, and then in turn his movements were imitated by West African dancers. This body motion conversation turns out producing something a little bit different from the original movements. It is a shared language between Ralph and the West African dancers. Something interactive and new has been born out of this dialogue.
I find this hybridity an interesting concept because it captures an essence of dance as a unique art form. Dance is not simply an output of message from a single dancer or a group of performers—it is an exchange with others. This exchange can be energy, emotion, thoughts, idea, story, history, culture, and so much more. When, through recursive translation, different styles of dances transform into a hybridity, the process of exchange reaches a consummation. It is like when two strangers come together to talk. At the beginning, there is no connection between them. But after back and forth communication, eventually they reach some mutual understanding and form some kind of bond. Thus, in the sense of communication, hybridity of dance itself is an exemplification of how movement can create meaning.