Spit On The Dramaturge

4 Oct

The dramaturge is a useless person for useless choreographers. Full stop. That’s just it! From a classical point of view, like – who the hell is an artist that needs assistance with the work? I’d never hire a dramaturge, it’s an announcement, loud and clear: I’m useless, have no idea what I’m doing and I’am totally confused. A dramaturge? What is this person supposed to do, what on earth could he or she offer. Research, yeah sure, but obviously the dramaturge will only present what is reasonable, what is along the lines of a present agenda in dance and choreography. But why, because the choreographer’s job is to confirm the validity of the dramaturge and therefore a dramaturge will never take the risk of being dismissed. The dramaturge is for dance and choreography what a parole officer is for a freedom.

But, you say, there must be some example of… dramaturge? No, there can’t be, cuz the job as such proposes “mediocre”. Either you are a dramaturge and totally irrelevant or you’re not. Dramaturgy is like waste sorting, an excellent method to postpone the collapse, but so not saving the world. Dramaturgy is the antithesis of innovation. It’s one of those activities defined by more of the same.

From a more contemporary perspective, you so don’t need a dramaturge. You know, the dramaturge by definition defends classical values of art. Why? Because if they were not, they’d be artists, scientists or mad professors, which obviously is a no no for the dramaturge, since it would undermine the autonomy of their position. Denounce every study program in dramaturgy. Dismiss every dramaturgy conference, seminar or little course. Spit on the dramaturge and their occupation as you spit on psychoanalysis and it’s supporters: Woody Allen, Andy Warhol, all those terrible British filmmakers – Uhhh, there are too many of them, the list is endless. Denounce Slavoj Zizek, blame him for expanding psychoanalysis into a generic, universal world view. Psychoanalysis is evil, it’s the little brother of consolidating capitalism, and exactly like dramaturgy, it is there to bring your sick mind and your anomalies back into normality. Dramaturgy is the antichrist of revolution.

Seriously, a dramaturge that occupies him or herself with psychological effect or accuracy, no no – or symbolic meaning OM-fuckin-G – that’s unforgivable. Dance and choreography is great, exactly because it doesn’t represent emotions, psychology or anything in that direction. We have a lot of feelings, emotions and what not when we dance but praise the lord we do not represent psychological states. Abolish symbolism and keep up the dance.

Dance don’t need no explanation. And a piece should stay the hell out of some self explanatory hick up. Don’t do this to yourself, it means self-instrumentalization, cuz you’d like the explanation to fit the world, make your work accessible. – – Die – – That’s not your job, insist on hermetic, enigmatic and totally incomprehensible.
How can it be that all those programmers and art council staff, managers, co-producers, jury members and post-performance talk people always want us to be radical, experimental, demanding, out there, mind blowing, questioning, destabilizing and then, the second after, everything should, must, unconditionally be explained, packaged, given context, again and again explained. If we want anything radical, anything to have a lasting impact on instability it won’t give itself to explanation. Dude, we talk about folds, right – not explanation. The whole world talks about complexity and all we ever wanted was explanation, accessibility, accuracy.

The dramaturgy is the in-house version of packaging, making your great, totally ridiculous ideas handsome, well-meaning and decent. Don’t fire the dramaturge, how could you, you don’t have one – but set the whole dramaturgy department on fire. They are for dance and choreography what ecology is for the world: a defense of outdated, non functional systems, a celebration of self-incapacitation.

We don’t need no explanation, stop babbling about context. Fuck the dramaturgical embrace and use your fists. Do it again, spit on the dramaturge.

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3 Responses to “Spit On The Dramaturge”

  1. Panaesthetik October 5, 2010 at 07:41 #

    Don’t you think that the problem begins with young choreographers spending more time writing “dossiers” and trying to explain their aspirations to boring commissions than they actually spend making art ? Given that the system demands over simplification and banal explanation simply in order to get enough funds to create, it’s hardly surprising that the “drama-queens” have the last word ! Why are we all so desperate to be so fucking mainstream today ?

    • Marten Spangberg October 5, 2010 at 17:27 #

      This has been the case with young choreographers since the beginning, just different kinds of dossiers and subsidy capacities. Yes, our present political system tells us available and mainstream is the shit, no where else to be – but we can produce mainstream in more than one way. The blog is one way of shaking people out of their slumber, embedded by production houses without attitude, destroyed by co-production deals by Lilienthal’s. I can not propose anything here, only shake and continue to shake.
      But still one thing, your signature and email address, are you sure?

  2. Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 17:44 #

    marianne van kerkhooven: reading without a pen

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