Knowledge


In the second and the third chapters of Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance, Katherine Profeta speaks about research and audience, and how these two constructions relate to dance dramaturgy. While these two parts are seemingly different in their aspects, they might be united by one in the concept of knowledge. Profeta does not give an obvious definition of knowledge itself because it is not her main focus. Instead, she spends some time to foreground the essential information about research (understood and approached as both the form of activity and its result) from etymological, historical and practical perspectives. The writer defines research in the two registers: the first one refers to the act of compilation and serves an explanatory representation of the information humans possess, the second one argues that research is the active process of creation and generating new products based on previous knowledge. Both of the meanings are being discussed greatly in the second chapter.
The way in which the concept of knowledge reappears in and links to the third chapter, which is devoted to the question of audience perception of dance performances, is very interesting. In that, part knowledge is being mentioned in the context of the message conveyed in the choreography of a performance and spectators’ eager or nessesity to translate and interpret the material in motion they see. That is, as I understood Profeta’s thought right we as the audience craves for the unknown, novel knowledge. However, spectator’s interpretation can differ from the message that artist tried to put in the motion piece. That is exactly the process of the research (in terms of the second definition that Profit gives) that audience themselves do in order to gain knowledge through translating and creating their own meaning.
Both chapters give an interesting and very unusual way of thinking about dance dramaturgy. Read altogether they connect in the common narrative which clearly explains what approaches help artists create dance performance that will convey a certain message or ask questions, as well as it gives a theoretical and practical information about the role of the audience in understanding choreography piece. All of that knowledge help to build a good basis for further reader’s understanding of how movement makes meaning.

Works Cited

Profeta, Katherine. 2015. Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press,