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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reading Betroffenheit as postdramatic theatre : an analysis of Crystal Pite's collaborative work with the Electric Company Theatre in Vancouver Ozkaya, Olga


In this thesis, I examine Vancouver-based, Canadian choreographer and dancer Crystal Pite’s artistic approach as a dance theatre artist with a focus on her multi-award winner work Betroffenheit (2015). Pite founded her dance theatre company Kidd Pivot in 2002. Since then she and the performers with whom she has collaborated have created Lost Action (2006), Dark Matters (2009), The You Show (2010), The Tempest Replica (2011), and Betroffenheit, all while gaining international fame and attention. In this thesis, I am most interested in the latter. Betroffenheit was co-created with Pite and actor Jonathon Young, co-founder and artistic director of Vancouver’s innovative and multi-award-winning Electric Company Theatre. Pite’s choreography integrates theatricality, movement, music, Young’s autobiographical narrative and text, and visual design. For this reason, I argue that Betroffenheit brings together the predominant properties of what Hans Thies Lehmann has termed postdramatic theatre. It blends theatrical elements, dance traditions, spoken text, and other performance genres. While Pite has often been connected to dance theatre, I argue here that Betroffenheit can be generatively read as postdramatic theatre. In order to discuss the relationship between dance theatre and postdramatic theatre, I will focus on Hans Thies Lehmann’s Postdramatic Theatre. Most prominently, my study demonstrates how reading the performance as postdramatic theatre helps to highlight the production’s numerous theatrically performative elements. Through investigating scholarly articles, book reviews, national and international performance reviews, and interviews, I aim to provide a deeper understanding of how Betroffenheit productively trouble boundaries between dance and theatre.

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