Music(ality) in Postdramatic Theatre
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Music is often neglected as a theatrical element or (falsely) understood as a mere signifier for mood or atmosphere and thus analysed accordingly. Even within postdramatic theatre, where music is not essentially sub-ordinate to logocentrism, music is often not granted the deserved attention. However, this thesis shows the extensive role that music potentially plays in postdramatic theatre. It investigates how music and musicality can contribute to a postdramatic dramaturgy. More specifically within the dramaturgy of the work ENA ENA (2021) by Greek performance maker and composer Thanasis Deligiannis. In doing so, I attempt to broaden and yet also specify and contextualise Hans-Thies Lehmann’s idea of musicalisation, who focused on orality far more than other (non-)aural signs. I look at how intrinsic qualities of music as an art form have clear similarities with postdramatic theatre, and how music’s absoluteness led to many theatre makers turning towards music as a compositional influence of their creation. Furthermore, David Roesner’s conceptualisation of musicality helps me to explore the manner in which non-aural phenomena can be experienced ‘as if’ and created ‘as’ music within postdramatic theatre. Additionally, I explore what aspects come to the fore when trying to understand music and musicality within postdramatic theatre. These aspects create a thorough outline for the many levels in which music can contribute to postdramatic theatre. However, an in-depth musical and dramaturgical analysis of ENA ENA shows that these many levels also contribute strongly to – and also inform for a great part – its dramaturgy. This thesis concludes that music-oriented analyses of postdramatic dramaturgies are necessary in order to understand the extensive contribution music has in the contemporary theatre practice, and thus it insists on opening the analytical ears of performance studies.
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