What is the Performing Arts?
It is known as Performing Arts to all those who are destined to a scenic representation, that is to say, to staging, to a staging. Thus, all artistic forms of the massive exhibition such as cinema, theater, dance, ballet, music, performance and all those that require a scenic space.
These stagings can occur in buildings specially designed for this, such as theaters, show halls, and multipurpose rooms, or they can take advantage of urban or architectural spaces of a public nature, such as in street shows such as the circus or the comedy of art.
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.
The scenic representations, on the other hand, are ephemeral (they occur in real time) and may or may not involve the public in their development, especially in the cases of street theater where there is no type of set design.
In any case, the Performing Arts tend to adapt to the space occupied by the performance and do not usually require much more than the actors and the public, since the former use their own body on stage as the instrument through which to produce the desired aesthetic effect, as is evident in the case of ballet or contemporary dance.
History of the Performing Arts
The Performing Arts have important historical backgrounds, ranging from the shamanic rituals of a celebration of spring to the Greek Tragedy and the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, or the Floral Games of the later Roman Empire and the Sacred Christian Theater.
This type of representation has always been central to the cultural life of nations, since they have, especially the theater, an important political dimension.
It is assumed, from cave images 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 the cinema, whose cinematographic technique would not be invented until the 19th century.
Types of Performing Arts
The Performing Arts involves the following manifestations:
- Stagecraft. The theater has been throughout the history of humanity one of the most cultivated Performing Arts and of greater political importance, given its ability to summon masses and impart a message behind the staging of a story, real or fictional. In its staging, there are usually loans from other performing arts (singing, dance) and also from literature (script).
- Dance. Whether it is classical ballet, contemporary dance or even folk dances, it consists of the staging of the body that moves aesthetically to the rhythm of the background music. This art form is one of the most primitive of humanity and it fulfilled outstanding ritual purposes.
- Music. An autonomous art at the same time as a Performing Art is one of the most complex and elevated aesthetic forms that exist since it achieves through sounds made with different instruments and orchestrated by a director, producing symphonies of different complexity and length that evoke different feelings and impressions.
- Circo. The so-called circus arts include unconventional stagings, such as juggling, clowns, conjurors, etc. This is the legacy of the legendary Roman circus, which has been incorporated much less aggressive elements and more aesthetically surprising but still has some character of risk and even associated magic.
- Performances. The other more or less defined aspects can be considered performances, that is to say, improvisations or acts prepared to “happen” in the middle of the public or in a street or public place, like the flashmobs (spontaneous dances organized in secret).
What are the elements of the Performing Arts?
The Performing Arts do not require too many elements, which can be three:
- Actors. The really indispensable for any representation are the actors or dancers, who use their body on stage to produce an aesthetic effect. It can be said that the Performing Arts exhibits the spectacle of one or more artistically trained bodies.
- Public. Another indispensable factor, because a representation cannot happen without an audience that contemplates it, whatever type it may be.
- Scenario. As we said before, a stage can be a theater or a performance hall, or it can be the street, an improvised platform or a public square.
- Objects. Often, the stage artists have the support of objects, either as stage decoration or as participants in the performance, or simply as technical help to produce the desired effect (such as stilts, courses, etc.).