Taking up the arguments set out by Anna Cutler in the preceding article, Susan Melrose here cautions against what she sees as the dangers Cutler fails to take into account of nominalization as an inherently conservative process. She suggests that the reification of the term ‘the body’ carries its own dangers, unless its complexities – as suggested by the title of this article – are recognized and assimilated. Arguing that many of the problems identified by Cutler are as applicable to the male as to the female performer, Susan Melrose concludes that the primacy of the word in documentation processes, though contested by Anna Cutler, has none the less caused her to overlook existing, effective forms of performance documentation, perhaps because they originate from and primarily serve the interests of performers rather than academics. Susan Melrose is Senior Lecturer at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where she leads the MA course in Performance Studies. She is author of A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text (Macmillan, 1994), and a contributor to numerous journals and symposia in her field. Further contributions to the debate initiated in these articles are planned and invited.