In the Shadow of a Dancer: Light as Dramaturgy in Contemporary Performance

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This article examines the dramaturgy of light, addressing ways in which its ephemeral, spatiotemporal materiality may be understood as a crucial infrastructure of performance. I propose that ideas of new and expanded dramaturgies provide a productive frame with which to explore the generative impact of light on performance. Correspondingly, examining ways in which light operates within performance provides a fruitful means of analysing the dramaturgical structure of a work. I demonstrate ways that light sculpts both the form and the content of a specific example, the recent contemporary dance work <<both, and>> by the Russell Maliphant Company, and use this analysis to offer insight into the dramaturgical potential of scenographic light more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-209
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Theatre Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018


  • Light
  • Scenography
  • Dramaturgy
  • Lighting design

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