Anny Mokotow worked as a dancer, performer and theatre-maker in the Netherlands and Europe. She completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne on dance and dramaturgy and has a Master of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne which examines dance and interdisciplinary practice. Anny works as dramaturge and lectures in theatre and dance. Her interest in the historical developments of 20th century dance and its social and cultural implications in relation to interdisciplinary practice and postmodernity forms the basis of her academic research.
The last decades have revealed how dance artists can recast the body in dance through multiple points of view, genres and styles. The outcomes offer a challenge to the means of engagement with performances that mine from multiple sources and inspirations. This paper proposes that the means by which to engage with and understand the dramaturgical reasoning in these contemporary works is through a decentred perspective. In considering the contemporaneity (Agamben, 2007) of current dance practice, together with cultural, scientific and philosophical inquiries into order from chaos or complexity theory, the paper invokes Derrida’s use of the term decentred—used to reposition the dynamic aspects of cultural structures, with Deleuze’s suggestion of rhizomatic thinking—which goes even further in delineating structure—to describe a somewhat idealistic proposition that may enable contradictory practices within dance to inhabit the same philosophical space.
Interdisciplinary performance has proven fertile ground for the development of dance hybrids. Gesture, text, film, object body and digital-media have aided in voicing the dance and moving it towards theatrical, cinematic and technological manifestations of the body. Nevertheless, this paper suggests that these ‘signposts’ are often used to make explicit meaning that lies concealed in the ambiguous movement vocabulary of dance. From a dissemination of performance methodologies arising out of postmodern and contemporary hybrids, I suggest that the use of signs and referents borrowed from other disciplines can intercept the kinetic experience of dancer to audience.