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In this journal in 2007, Laurence Dreyfus explored the metaphor of ‘performance as interpretation’. Noting that the metaphor was rare prior to the 1840s, and that its dissemination swept across Europe at different speeds in different countries, Dreyfus suggested that as a metaphor it has certain advantages and disadvantages. This essay supplements Dreyfus’s valuable historical contribution to performing theory with a philosophical account of why we need other models of performing alongside interpretation, sketching out the issues with reference to (a) the relationship between interpretation and ergonomics and (b) the importance of aesthetic judgement to performing.