“Redundancy” usually refers to “the state of being not or no longer needed or useful”; to be more specific, it means that “the state of being no longer in employment because there is no more work available” or “the inclusion of extra components which are not strictly necessary to functioning, in case of failure in other components”. In the text of the book Dramaturgy in Motion by Katherine Profeta, the word “redundancy” implies “waste within a putative Taylorist system for efficient artistic labor”.
Katherine ran into this word when she tried to define “the dramaturg as a singular, non-dispersed role”, because its definitions “easily overlap with existing institutionalized roles: director, choreographer, critic, producer development director, literary manager, audience outreach coordinator”. From this perspective, it seems that the existence of the dramaturg is “redundant” or not necessary. However, according to Katherine, “play and possibilities spring” out of redundancy. She quotes from Hildegard De Vuyst that “because if it feels like I’m not necessary, in fact, then I have a sort of freedom and a playground to stand on.” In other words, the redundancy of dramaturgs actually allows them to fully engage in the art piece without any limitations or worries. What is more, “the creative ferment of evolution can only achieve complexity via phases of multitasking and redundancy.”
I find the word interesting because such a derogatory word is regarded as an advantage by dramaturgs. It reveals that in the system of contemporary dance and theater, dramaturgs’ redundancy actually could be beneficial or even crucial. It could be recognized that all artistic processes are micro-evolutions that thrive on the redundancies and flexibility that dramaturgs offer. Therefore, to have a better understanding of redundancy could help us better investigate into the essence of dramaturgy.
Oxford Dictionaries Accessed 4 Jan 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/freedom. Profeta, Katherine. 2015. Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press,