“Anatomy” usually refers “to the branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms, especially as revealed by dissection and the separation of parts” or “the bodily structure of an organism” as a scientific term, or “a study of the structure or internal workings of something” as a more general term. In the text of the “Movement” section of the book Dramaturgy in Motion by Katherine Profeta, the vocabularies of anatomy refer to the words that could be used to describe movement in dance.

To quote Katherine, “anatomical vocabulary does describe biological structures that have evolved over the ages to enable movement, that have movement’s potential inherent within their design.”In other words, an anatomical word itself could suggest some body movement that could be carried out by that part of the body—it is the implication that matters. What is more, dancers from different times and cultural locations have different anatomical vocabularies to describe movement, which reflects priorities in their own systems. “An awareness of anatomical differentiation and how it plays out in motion might allow the dramaturg to, for instance, distinguish a body’s fall to the side as initiated form the rib cage, or the trochanter, or the top of the skull.” That is to say, different anatomical vocabularies for dramaturgs provide them with more choices to more accurately describe the dancers’ movements.

I find the word interesting because anatomy is actually a field of biological science, but it turns out to be quite helpful to dramaturgs regarding its function of movement description. At this point, I discovered an intersection of subjects in the field of dramaturgy and dance: the use of anatomical words could actually benefit dramaturgs’ work a lot. Therefore, understanding the word “anatomy” could help us better understand dramaturgs’ roles and get familiar with the language they use.

Works Cited

Oxford dictionary Accessed 6 Jan 2018. Profeta, Katherine. 2015. Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press,