'Lou has a total investment in the creative process. I was repeatedly very impressed by how serious and committed she was during the making process.She finds a balance between subjectivity and objectivity, respecting our desires and visions but being able to question them when they didn't really convince her. She pushed us to be intelligible and rigourous in our choices, encouraging us to analyse our doubts and helping us to identify what we were really looking for; always pushing us out of our comfort zones and evaluating any propositions in the context of an overall coherence.'
Damien Jalet - Choreographer
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My role as a dramaturg:
My job can take many forms: I work as a Production Dramaturg - often in rehearsal for either two or three days a week; as a Dramaturgical Consultant - just spending short amounts of time in rehearsal, often at the beginning and/or the end of a making process; and as a Process Dramaturg - working online or face to face to help artists develop their thinking and their vision before or during rehearsals.
Dramaturgs find homes in the spaces between directors/choreographers, writers, performers and crews.
Some dramaturgs live just behind their director, always ready to whisper a response to an idea or make a proposal at the appropriate moment. The relationship can be quite exclusive and private, sometimes with the performers receiving no invitation to become part of the creative dialogue.
For me, with my background of directing devised performance with performers, this approach closes doors that might otherwise lead to positive and exciting contributions to and developments in the piece.
So I choose to position myself in the spaces not only between the director/choreographer and the piece, and the piece and the audience, but also, where appropriate, in the spaces between the performers, the creative team and their relationships with each other.
This means I listen and watch, and talk. I like to hear how people are feeling, what they are seeing, what they perceive themselves to be doing.
Part of my role is to help people see what it is they are making, and help them recognise when they have made what they intended to make. Or not.
And as someone who chooses to work in devised processes where the product is always multiply authored, (even if singularly signed) and who believes that the process is always entirely present in the product, I think it is crucial to pay attention to the detail of the making process to ensure that the best possible piece gets made in the best possible circumstances.
'I deeply appreciated Lou's ability to situate her perspective within its inevitable individual subjectivity, never imposing an opinion as more than itself - a rare quality.'
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui - Choreographer