Arco Renz工作坊 Arco Renz’s workshop; 攝Photo: 張志偉Cheung Chi-wai; 圖片由西九文化區管理局提供 Photo provided by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
「劇場指導」（Dramaturg）這一個崗位的出現，其實並非新鮮事，早於十八世紀，德國戲劇家及評論人戈特霍爾德．埃夫萊姆．萊辛（Gotthold Ephraim Lessing）便已經透過撰寫及出版《漢堡劇評》，提出這個獨立於編劇、導演或舞台設計以外的專業範疇之重要性。不過，對於「劇場指導」的角色與「劇場構作」（Dramaturgy）的運用，即使於歐洲的表演藝術工業中應用多年，業界對其職能也沒有一個劃一的看法跟標準；而隨著近二十年當代舞蹈的多元發展，劇場指導一職也漸見於舞蹈製作，但當中這個專業的角色，究竟如何可以有效地跟編舞或創作人協作，達到完善作品的效果呢？
The emergence of the position “dramaturg” is nothing new. Back in the 18th century, German dramatist and critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s published written work Hamburg dramaturgy already stressed the importance of dramaturg as a profession, which is independent from playwright, director, or stage designer. However, regarding the use of ‘dramaturg’ and ‘dramaturgy’, the industry has not arrived at a unanimous definition and view on its function, despite its application in the European performing arts industry. Along with the diverse development of contemporary dance in the past 20 years, the dramaturg started to appear in dance productions. How can this professional role cooperate with choreographers or artists effectively with a view to enhance the artwork?
西九文化區表演藝術團隊繼2015年與前進進戲劇工作坊合作，邀請來自德國的克里斯托夫．萊普奇教授（Prof. Christoph Lepschy）來港闡述他的劇場構作經驗後，今年起就與香港演藝學院戲劇學院合辦一個為期三年的「超越劇場構作」計劃。計劃每年各有不同主題，首年會先聚焦在製作中的劇場構作，邀請來自亞洲及歐洲的著名劇場指導，來港引領參加者拆解劇場構作的概念和方法。打頭陣的，有來自比利時的Kobalt Works 藝術總監Arco Renz，以及臺北藝術節藝術總監鄧富權。二人皆有豐富的策劃與出任劇場指導的經驗，特別是在當代舞蹈製作的範疇，因此除了一節公開的圓桌討論環節，兩人也各自主持了一連六天、每日半晝題為「舞蹈劇場構作」的工作坊，與參與者分享他們的經驗與看法。
Collaborating with On and On Theatre Workshop in 2015, the West Kowloon Cultural District’s performing arts team invited Prof. Christoph Lepschy from Germany, who gave a workshop about his experience in dramaturgy. This year, the team has partnered with Drama School of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to host a three-year scheme Dramaturgy and Beyond. It features different themes each year, with the first zooming in on dramaturgy in production. The team has invited celebrated dramaturgs from Asia and Europe to Hong Kong to lead participants to deconstruct the concepts and practices of dramaturgy. The first invited were Arco Renz, Artistic Director of Kobalt Works in Belgium, and Tang Fu-kuen, the Artistic Director of the Taipei Arts Festival. Both possess abundant experience in curating and acting as dramaturg, especially in contemporary dance productions. On top of a session of open round-table discussion, each hosted six half-day workshops entitled Dance Dramaturgy, sharing their experience and insights with participants.
「超越劇場構作」圓桌討論 Dramaturgy and Beyond – Roundtable: “Unpacking dramaturgy”; 圖片由西九文化區管理局提供 Photo provided by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
The morning workshop by Arco Renz discussed and went into the concepts of dance dramaturgy from the perspective of choreography and its practical application; participants included artists such as choreographers, dancers, directors, and designers. Tang Fu-kuen’s afternoon workshop revolved around producers, scholars, program and festival curators. He delineated the concepts of dance dramaturgy as a producer with theories and philosophy, allowing participants to conceive how dramaturgy could be embodied in different production roles. Due to the high number of applicants, the two speakers selected 20 participants for their respective workshops based on the applicants’ experience and background, in which only two students of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and another two from Macau were chosen to join both of the workshops.
In the limited length of the article, I will focus on my experience in Tang’s workshop. Among the 20 participants, there were staff of the West Kowloon Cultural District and local producers; half were independent producers, researchers of arts festivals or arts groups, university scholars, and critics from Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Macau. Despite our different backgrounds and experiences, we learnt from each other about culture and the landscape of art development in different places and organizations.
鄧富權工作坊 Tang Fu Kuen’s workshop; 攝Photo: 張志偉Cheung Chi-wai; 圖片由西九文化區管理局提供 Photo provided by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
In the six-day workshop from 19 to 24 March, Tang prepared a few articles and book reviews, to discuss the early practice of dance dramaturgy in Europe, and case studies, so everyone could understand the role of dramaturgy in contemporary dance. In addition to interpretation of the cases, the workshop also brought out participants’ experiences and insights via different activities to inspire each other so they could envision how to apply ‘dramaturgical thinking’ in a production process.
On the first day of the workshop, with the word ‘critical’ as the starting point, Tang asked us to discuss in groups what meaning the word can extend to, based on everyone’s background and experience. (e.g. critic, urgent, critical, critique…) We talked about what critical is in the current society and to the art community. Tang emphasized that dramaturg/dramaturgy has to respond to the society. On the last day, each participant presented eight words using C-R-I-T-I-C-A-L, sequentially, as the initial letters of the words to illustrate their insights into, and experiences and failures of dramaturg/dramaturgy. The discussions and exchanges broadened my horizon and gave me a better glimpse of the production experience in different regions and organizations. Yet, the activities that were truly inspiring and focused on dramaturg/dramaturgy were laid on the discussions after the group attended a performance and an exhibitions during the week.
On the second and the fourth day, we watched the latest play of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Auspicious Day, and paid a visit to the West Kowloon Cultural District’s M+ Pavilion that hosted an exhibition: Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief World Tour. We were able to develop common topics on the cases after these two activities. Tang led us to stand in the shoes of different production roles of the former, to justify some of the artistic choices made in the play, to understand decisions made from the perspective of the presenter; while conversation with the curator of the latter allowed us to understand the strategy of the layout of the art works, which resembled dramaturgy in the performing arts. Tang also shared with us how he became an experienced dramaturg and producer, how he deconstructed the elements and symbols on the stage, and how he read the spatial arrangement of exhibitions in a bid to building an open experience for the audience.
鄧富權與其工作坊參與者到M+展亭參觀「楊嘉輝的賑災專輯世界巡迴演」展覽；Tang Fu-kuen and his workshop participants’ visit the exhibition Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief World Tour at M+ Pavilion; 攝Photo: 張志偉Cheung Chi-wai; 圖片由西九文化區管理局提供 Photo provided by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Truthfully, even after going through the round-table discussions and the six-day workshop as well as conversations with the two workshop leaders, I find it difficult to define contemporary dramaturg/dramaturgy. This is because different productions come with different formats of application and cooperation, and they cannot be tied to one single definition. But what’s for sure is that participants got to know some more about this unfamiliar role . Yet, more discussions and experiments are necessary for applying the concepts into creations or even considering to introduce the position of dramaturg in a production. It also depends on what other activities the Dramaturg and Beyond project will bring us.
最後，為了刺激大家進一步思考劇場指導這個崗位的職能與可能，容我舉一個鄧在工作坊與我們分享過的實際製作例子作結（其實是另一個討論的開端）。在菲律賓編舞與舞者Eisa Jocson的近作《Princess》中，廣義來說，共有四位劇場指導參與其中，包括為創作人提供參考資料與駐場資訊、身為製作人的鄧富權，也有以Creative Presence的名義作創作指導的Arco Renz，還有在創作過程中常會主動提出意見、多年來跟編舞合作無間的身體訓練導師，再加上共同製作方的駐院劇場指導。如此「劇場指導」陣容可以說是各師其職，但也當然引伸出誰才是左右創作的主力的討論，不過說到底，最後為演出作決定的始終都是創作人本身，這是無容置疑的。
Last but not least, to stimulate the consideration of the functions and possibility of a dramaturg, I’ll conclude with a production case Tang shared with us in the workshop (which is, in fact, the opening of another discussion). In the recent production Princess by Filipino choreographer and dancer Eisa Jocson, four dramaturgs were involved – Tang as producer provided reference materials and residency information for the creator, Renz gave artistic advice and had the title “Creative Presence”, a body trainer who has cooperated with the choreographer for years spoke a lot of his insights throughout the creative process, and a resident dramaturg of the venue co-presenter. The dramaturg combination divided duties for different people, as well as sparked the discussion on which was the critical force affecting the artwork the most. Of course, at the end of the day, the final decision maker is undoubtedly the creator.
陳瑋鑫 William Chan