TOWARDS A FEMINIST DRAMATURGY
Workshop with Ana Dubljevic
Ana Dubljevic (Belgrade) works with dance, choreography and performance. She graduated from MA in Choreography and Performance in Giessen. Next to choreographic work, Ana performs, teaches and explores what dramaturgy in dance could be. Her work is currently supported by APAP network. Her book The Feminist Pornscapes, on Feminist Dramaturgical Thinking in Dance and Performance Practice was published in 2021. She is passionate about erotic poetry and hopes for a planetary general strike.
Ana Dubljevic hosted a workshop on her book The Feminist Pornscapes, on Feminist Dramaturgical Thinking in Dance and Performance Practice. Rather than unpacking her book for the participants, she let the participants unpack the book together in plenum as well as in smaller groups diving into different chapters of the book together, reading and discussing them. Here is an excerpt from one of the chapters, ‘Tantric Dramaturgy’.
"Tantric dramaturgy is a process that needs to become a practice".
”Today I can understand tantric dramaturgy as a term that aims to describe also the dramaturgy of our entire process, namely dramaturgical thinking of the feminist pornscapes practice. Tantric dramaturgy describes almost a kind of spiritual approach to dramaturgy as practice. The one where we, in the process of (love)making forget about the orgasm – here as a metaphor for forgetting about the end-product of the process. Process is not about reaching a goal, as challenging as it can be to delete that well-known and scripted ending from our systems. The process is about practicing the practice, and the performance is one possible snapshot of it. The goal is to enjoy and be eager about the exploration of every moment of the process, even and especially when confusion and obstacles come in. Practising of being present with each other, trustfully surrendering (as an active verb) to whatever wanted or unwanted comes up (whether it be joyful understanding, uncomfortable conflicts, or deep vulnerabilities), regularly communicating with each other about how we feel (like through check-in circle at the beginning of each rehearsal), nourishing the compassionate environment, openly taking space, asking and acting upon our own individual needs and wants, listening, being ready to be of service to the other, giving time for things to appear, knowing when things are dead and be ok with letting them go, giving the needed space for any anger, shame or awkwardness that may appear, celebrating and empowering ourselves and each other to reach our full expressions however weird, crazy or ungraspable they might be, and having fun with it. Tantric dramaturgy is a process that needs to become a practice. A practice of long-term deep connecting with ourselves, each other, our art, and the context that surrounds it. It does not come easy, and is not fixed once when it is reached, it has to be discovered again and again, because we are conditioned from society, economy and the art world itself to perform the opposite. This practice requires self-awareness and self-work, but always and only in relation to others. These were and are the aims of our practice, but they were not always accomplished. The thing to start from and always go back to is that we do not know how to do this and we may never will. Nonetheless, whenever it is reached this practice brings such vivid liveness, enjoyment, empowerment and makes space for unimaginable to appear. One crucial thing is that all that makes this practice is not there to be romanticized, but politicized”. - Ana Dubljevic, The Feminist Pornscapes, on Feminist Dramaturgical Thinking in Dance and Performance Practice.