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Dramaturgy Database

Schooling an Ensemble: The Forsythe Company’s Whole in the Head

In this ethnographic study, Freya Vass-Rhee focusses on The Forsythe Company’s creation of *Whole in the Head* of 2010. The cast of this production consisted of “already-expert new dancers” and “experienced ensemble veterans”. During the creation process a collaborative approach led to teaching and learning opportunities for all participants. The devising context allowed for these emergent and distributed opportunities and stimulated the ensemble’s development as a “complicit, choreographically productive community informed by specific somatic approaches to movement generation”. Following unusual etymological connections of the term skill in linguistics, this analysis clarifies how the devising process of this work enhanced crucial expert-specific skills across the ensemble. Furthermore, this analysis invites for the considerations of the nature of skill and its reach within communities of experts.


Vass-Rhee, Freya. “Schooling an Ensemble: The Forsythe Company’s Whole in the Head.” Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices 10, no. 2 (1 December 2018): 219–33. https://doi.org/10.1386/jdsp.10.2.219_1.