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AACORN  April 2012

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Subject:

Re: choreography and dynamic structures

From:

Piers Ibbotson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Piers Ibbotson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 13:43:45 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (121 lines)

My observations ( very limited I admit) of working with choreographers in 
the theatre, is that they work in a way not disimilar to directors. They are 
creating a performance in collaboration with dancers who share a common 
repertoire of embodied knowledge. They are selecting and adapting from a 
vast pattern book of movements and styles and they work to achieve something 
that is as close as they can get to the "design" in the choeographer's 
notes/heads. In the theatre, choreographers rarely turn up with  pages of 
notated movements that specify in detail what the dancers are to do. ( This 
is choreographers working on plays not ballet) The design and implement 
process seems to me to be one that is approriate to inanimate systems but 
cannot work quite so well when the system is composed of people. The 
iterative/creative process of rehearsal allows for the individuality and 
creative input of the performers to modify the design as it is being 
communicated. But perhaps the bit of interest for understanding 
organisations is in the design of the rehearsal process, not just the design 
of the dance performance itself.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Taylor, Steven S." <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 12:36 PM
Subject: Re: choreography and dynamic structures


I donít know much about choreography, but Iíve been having some ideas about 
the challenges of the design/enactment of organizational structures. I think 
of design from Visserís (2006) conception that design can be understood as 
creating representations. For organizations the question is both what are 
you trying to represent and how do you represent that? As a playwright I 
design a performance by writing a script. The words (and stage directions) 
are a representation of the performance, but as we all know there are many 
different performances that might emerge from the same script. As a 
playwright I canít represent the performance completely (in the way that an 
industrial designer can completely represent a product she designs) and this 
is the fundamental problem of organizational design. I can design and 
represent some things with the hope that what emerges will be what I want, 
but I canít eliminate the variability and emergent aspects of organizations 
(even though some try Ė great grand pappy Frederick comes to mind). The 
traditional org chart represents dyadic authority relationships, perhaps 
because that is something you can specify and design. My industrial 
engineering colleagues design and represent material work processes. The 
language action folks (White & Fischer, 1994; Winograd & Flores, 1986) had 
the interesting idea that you could represent organizations in terms of a 
specific and limited set ofspeech acts that defined commitments people made 
as they coordinated action. My IT friends represent and design information 
structures. So, I would say that all organization design picks something 
(some organizational structure?) torepresent with the hope that defining 
that something will produce an emergent organization that is more or less 
what they had in mind. And just in case youíre still reading, Iíll finish 
with a shameless plug Ė Iíd love to see work on this submitted to 
Organizational Aesthetics 
(www.organizationalaesthetics.org<http://www.organizationalaesthetics.org>).

Cheers,

Steve

Visser, Willemien. (2006). The cognitive artifacts of designing. Mahwah, NJ: 
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
White, Thomas E., & Fischer, Layna. (1994). The workflow paradigm. 
California: Future Strategies, Inc.
Winograd, Terry, & Flores, Fernando. (1986). Understanding computers and 
cognition. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.


  Steven S. Taylor, PhD
[cid:36795148-5DF6-427A-8863-6266B867F525]

From: Stephen Carroll 
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Reply-To: Stephen Carroll 
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2012 1:52 PM
To: ACORN <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: Re: choreography and dynamic structures

Katrin.

Just got around to reading your e mail today.

I must admit that I know very little about dance even though I have observed 
ballet and modern dance events many times. In my discussions of persuasive 
leaders in executive training,  I have mentioned the importance of their 
body movements and have used some examples of leaders in film clips who had 
such very engaging movements.

By the way, I believe that choreography is also used as a term in the design 
of computer interactive systems to map out the interactions required of 
sellers, buyers, and other interacting entities. As in dance they have 
developed a notation system that communicates the sequence of steps that 
have to be followed and the nature of these interactions.I'm sure somebody 
on this site knows a lot more than I do about this.

My impression of a choregrapher is one who creates dance events using 
creative dance movements for dancers in a dance company which he or she 
might have created. It seems to me that this is just another type of 
management and organizational building activity. An organization must be 
created with a mission related to producing performances which are marketed 
and which present the creative artistic productions. As in any organization 
disparate elements must be coordinated and/or integrated- movements, music, 
scenery, lighting,etc. In doing this many problems occur as they do in all 
organizations- e.g. the individual performers do not have suficient skills 
to implement the creative designs -(I have seen student dancers fall in 
university productions- I have seen musical problems and inadequacies)

With respect to the unique possible contribution of choreography to 
organizational design I would guess that there are special insights and 
techniques in choreography which could possibly correct or alleviate some 
present weaknesses or deficiencies in organizational design and operations. 
However, given my ignorance of dance,  I would not know what these are.I'm 
sure other AACORN members would have some insights into what some of these 
might be.

Steve



Stephen (Steve) Carroll
Maryland Business School
301/405-2239
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

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