Miranda Laurence is a dramaturg, working mostly with dance makers. In this role she accompanies a director or choreographer during the process of creating a new work, attending to the rhythm of all elements in the piece, and actively noticing responses from the viewer’s perspective.  Miranda is currently undertaking a self-led professional development project in dance dramaturgy funded by Arts Council England.

Here for Oxford Dance Writers Miranda gives a revealing insight into her role in assisting the development of new work within the privacy of the dance studio.

I’m sitting in the faded splendour of Swindon Dance’s main studio, which is adorned with huge vintage mirrors, curlicued window frames and chunky old-fashioned radiators. As usual, I’m tucked away in a corner, sitting on the floor, taking in the size, shape, feel and details of the space around. Out on the floor, two dancers (Thomasin Gülgeç and Estela Merlos) undergo their warm-up, twisting and weaving fluidly through the space, mirroring each other or going off on tangents. I think: “am I earning my money as a dramaturg by watching these dancers warm up? How should I warm myself up?” (more…)

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This collection of essays has emerged at a time at which the term dramaturgy is increasingly heard and used within dance disciplines, particularly in the UK. Whilst, as the preface says, dramaturgy has been included in the choreographic process since the 1970s, it is still very much a term that has many different meanings and connotations within dance practice today, with artists and scholars often aware of the term but little else about the practice. This book’s contributors approach dramaturgy for dance from a number of different directions, and as a whole the book illuminates quite how diverse the practice of dance dramaturgy is, highlighting this very diversity as a strength of the practice of dramaturgy.

The book is divided into three sections, ‘Agency’, ‘Awareness’, and ‘Engagement’, with a mixture of theoretical essays, case studies and reflections on experiences written by dance scholars, dance artists and dramaturgs. (more…)