Dramaturgy for Dance at the Banff Centre

Greetings from Banff National Park!

 observing movement as seen in the currents of the Bow River; photo by Robert Binet

observing movement as seen in the currents of the Bow River; photo by Robert Binet

I am just finishing my second day of a two-week research workshop at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. The program, Dramaturgy of Living Systems, is led by UK-based dramaturg and writer Ruth Little, and is part of Banff Centre's summer dance programming. I am thrilled to be in this unbelievably beautiful place working and learning and thinking alongside a cohort of seven other international artists with a wide variety of backgrounds, practices, and ways of thinking about movement.

In our time together so far, Ruth has encouraged us to think of dramaturgy as an ecological practice, and performance work (as well as the process of creating it) as a living system that follows the same structures and patterns that underlie other systems of life. We've examined work by artists including Pina Bausch, Akram Khan, Caryl Churchill, and our fellow participant Janine Harrington, as well as ideas and concepts from neuroscience, biology, and early childhood education. We've taken walks in the mountains, enjoyed meals with spectacular views, and shared personal objects that vibrate with meaning. And that's all in two days... I cannot wait to see where we will be at the end of two weeks.