The Construction of Authenticity in the Creative Process: Lessons from Innovative Choreographers of Contemporary Dance

This study adopts Carroll and Wheaton’s typology of type and moral meanings of authenticity to examine how contemporary dance choreographers construct authenticity during the creation of a new choreography. Our analysis of data from in-depth interviews and rehearsal observations of 23 Israeli contemporary dance companies reveals a three-phase creative process, where the two meanings of authenticity mutually constitute one another. First, choreographers construct moral authenticity through transformation of the form comprised of two complementary strategies: starting from scratch and retrieval of experience. Evoking the moral meaning of authenticity supports deconstruction of canonical forms and allows bricolage of external somatic forms. Second, choreographers construct type authenticity through wrapping expression, comprised of two complementary strategies: integrating-organizing-communicating-and changing meaning. Evoking the type meaning of authenticity facilitates the deconstruction of cult values of somatic techniques into the unified art-for-exhibition value of the dance canon. Finally, choreographers evoke both moral and type meanings of authenticity through innovation by reconstruction comprised of two complementary strategies: taking risks and recycling expertise.

Should you want to attend this talk, please register by sending a message to Thinley Tharchen at: by Tuesday 24 noon. We will order a free sandwich for you (please mention any dietary preference) and will send you a copy of the paper.