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The aesthetic of diversity : how ?

How to approach, observe, describe and analyze the astonishing diversity of performance practices invented by humanity, without watering down or reducing, by some predetermined mode of perception (either academic or aesthetic), their original complexity? How to avoid confusing ahistorical analyses with an historical objectivity that takes into account local values of the performance practice? How to illustrate the “emergent peaks” [von Bertalanffy] in the complex systems that performance invokes, while at the same time accounting for performance’s long process of elaboration? How to distinguish that which moves the spectator from that which motivates the performer?

There is no one way to answer these methodological questions. The complexity of Ethnoscenology’s subject necessitates a multi-disciplinary approach.

In 1995, on May 3rd at UNESCO the Centre International d’Ethnoscénologie was created. Now, ten years later, the idea of a “center” has disappeared, giving way to an astonishingly rich international research in the arts and sciences. Ethnoscenology, in its transdisciplinarity incorporates such analogous disciplines as: Theater Anthropology, Theatrical Anthropology of ISTA, Theaterethnologie, Performance Studies.

Within a few years, an important network of researchers has been established. Conferences have been held in Cuernavaca (June 1996, Mexico), Salvador (1997, Brazil), Paris (1998 and 2000, France). Seminars and lectures are organized regularly by academic institutions. Several doctoral theses have been defended in the discipline of Ethnoscenology and others are in preparation.