Dan Hume's Blog

What is a Performance?
November 14, 2010, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Performance Video

I’ve started thinking about what a performance is, before I start concluding ideas that I’m working on. For this project, I think it’s essential to understand what a performance is because it will open up many possibilities to creating new innovate ideas of making a performance.

performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which one group of people (the performer or performers) behave in a particular way for another group of people (the audience). Sometimes the dividing line between performer and the audience may become blurred, as in the example of “participatory theatre” where audience members might get involved in the production. Singing choral music, and performing in a ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience members often clap, indicating appreciation. However, sometimes this rule is reversed. In Japan, the greatest compliment is complete silence.

Performances, for example in theatre, can take place daily, or at some other regular interval. Performances can take place at designated performance spaces (such as a theatre or concert hall), or in a non-conventional space, such as a subway station, on the street, or in someone’s home.

Performance genres

Examples of performance genres include:

  • musical genres:
    • concert
    • recital
    • music competition
  • theatrical genres:
    • play
    • opera
    • operetta
    • ballet and other types of dance
    • musical theater
  • other genres:
    • circus acts
    • performance art
    • live art
    • performance poetry
    • busking
    • magic (illusion)
    • storytelling

Music performance (a concert or a recital) may take place indoors in a concert hall or outdoors in a field, and may require the audience to remain very quiet, or encourage them to sing and dance along with the music.

A performance may also describe the way in which an actor performs. In a solo capacity, it may also refer to a mime artist, comedian, conjurer, or other entertainer.

Keane at Live Earth Concert

Foo Fighters at Live Earth Concert

Madonna Sticky and Sweet Concert


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