What is Performing Arts History Types and elements

Performing Arts

Performing arts is understood as all those that are intended for a scenic representation , that is, a staging, a staging. Thus, all artistic forms of mass exhibition such as cinema, theater , dance , ballet, music, performance and all those that require a stage space.

This staging can take place in buildings specially designed for this purpose, such as theatres, concert halls and multipurpose rooms, or they can take advantage of public urban or architectural spaces , as occurs in street shows such as the circus or art comedy.

Even non-artistic forms such as parades, religious processions, popular festivals or carnivals have a very clear scenic dimension and are often taken into account by the Performing Arts.

Scenic performances, on the other hand, are ephemeral (occur in real time) and may or may not involve the public in their development , especially in cases of street theater where there is no type of scenography prepared.

In any case, the Performing Arts usually adapt to the space occupied by the representation and do not usually demand much more than the actors and the public, since the latter use their own bodies on stage as an instrument to produce the desired aesthetic effect. , as is evident in the case of ballet or contemporary dance.

History of Performing Arts

The Performing Arts have important historical antecedents , ranging from the shamanic rituals of spring celebration , to the Greek Tragedy and the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, or the Floral Games of the later Roman Empire and the Sacred Christian Theatre.

These types of representations have always been central to the cultural life of nations, as they have, especially theater, an important political dimension.

It is assumed, based on images of caves and other evidence, that music would have appeared first, then dance, and finally theater as a complex form of the latter. Its most recent aspects are those close to cinema, whose cinematographic technique would only be invented in the 19th century.

Types of performing arts

The Performing Arts involve the following manifestations:

  • Theatrical art . Theater has been throughout human history one of the most cultivated and politically important performing arts, given its ability to summon masses and transmit a message behind the staging of a story, real or fictional. In its staging, borrowings are usually made from other performing arts (singing, dancing) and also from literature (script).
  • Dance . Whether it’s classical ballet, contemporary dance or even folk dances, it consists of staging the body that moves aesthetically to the rhythm of the background music. This artistic form is one of the most primitive of mankind and served exceptional ritual purposes.
  • Music . Autonomous art, at the same time as Scenic Art, is one of the most complex and elevated aesthetic forms that exist, as it manages, through sounds made with different instruments and orchestrated by a conductor, to produce symphonies of different complexities and durations. that evoke different feelings and impressions.
  • Circus . The so-called circus arts include unconventional performances such as juggling, clowns, magicians, etc. It is the legacy of the legendary Roman circus, to which much less aggressive and more aesthetically surprising elements were incorporated, but still has a certain character of risk and even associated magic.
  • Performances . The other more or less defined aspects can be considered performances, that is, improvisations or acts prepared to “happen” in the middle of the public or in a street or public place, such as flashmobs (spontaneous dances organized in secret  )  .

What are the elements of the Performing Arts?

Performing Arts does not require many elements, which can be three:

  • Actors . What is really indispensable to any performance are the actors or dancers, who use their bodies on stage to produce an aesthetic effect. It can be said that in the Performing Arts the spectacle of one or more artistically trained bodies is exhibited.
  • Public . Another indispensable factor, since a performance cannot happen without an audience that contemplates it, of any kind.
  • Stage . As we said before, a stage can be a theater or a concert hall, or it can be the street, an improvised stage or a public square.
  • Objects . Performing artists are often supported by objects, either as a stage backdrop or as participants in the performance, or simply as a technical aid to produce the desired effect (such as stilts, boots, etc.)

The different languages ​​of the performing arts

Some distinct genres integrate the performing arts. The best known is that of dramaturgy, which encompasses theatre, television and cinema, being the focus of training courses.

However, the languages ​​of dance, circus and opera are also considered performing arts.

Theater: the art of acting

Theater, as we know it, emerged in Ancient Greece around the 6th century BC In this language, actors tell stories to an audience through interpretation.

The strands of theater are: comedy, tragedy and drama. In each of them, a type of emotion or human feeling is highlighted.

Dance: the art of movement

Dance has its origins in prehistoric times, when people began to combine sound elements with body movements.

Later, in antiquity, it came to be used as a means of celebrating mythological gods.

The dance can be done following a choreography, that is, a script of previously prepared movements. It can also be created in the act itself, relying on improvisation.

Circus: multiple attractions in one show

The circus language brings together several professionals in a “troupe” that usually performs in itinerant circular structures.

It emerged in ancient civilizations, but it was in the Roman Empire that it developed in a similar way to what we have today.

Among the attractions presented in the circus are: juggling, clowning, trapeze, contortionism, fireworks shows and others.

Opera: music and theater united

In opera, what is built are shows that combine singing, poetry and interpretation. It began in Italy in the 17th century within the so-called baroque movement.

The first known play is Dafne , from 1598, by Jacopo Peri and Ottavio Rinuccini. But before that, the duo had already created another work, Eurydice , presented only in 1601.

These shows are quite traditional and sophisticated, with rich costumes.

There is usually a live orchestra that performs the soundtrack, supporting and complementing the show.

Performing Arts job market

The job market for performing artists can be quite broad . Although acting is the most famous profession in the field, graduates of the course can choose a variety of careers.

  • Performance

Actors or actresses can act in theater, movies, TV, advertisements, among others. Actors and actresses interpret characters and help with their artistic constructions.

  • Direction

Your professional who coordinates, supervises and directs any scenic representation and monitors its stages. He can also act in different areas such as TV, theater and cinema.

  • scenography

Its professionals are responsible for assembling the scenarios in which the presentations will take place. The assembly is done according to the characteristics of the project and requires a lot of study and research for its execution.

  • Costume

Its professionals create and/or select all the specific costumes for all the artists who will perform in the scenic project.

  • Production

It is the bureaucratic part of the area. Production professionals perform all the administrative part, such as rehearsal locations, sponsorship, budgets and resources needed for the project. 

  • Teaching

Graduates in Performing Arts work teaching in acting schools or courses. They can also work in basic education.

  • Criticism

Its professionals perform the analysis and reflection of the arts and produce criticism in relation to the pieces, scenes or the entire project presented.

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