What is the historical definition of the performing arts and what characteristics do all performance arts share in common?

The performing arts began in the 1950s and represents forms of creative activity that are performed in front of an audience, such as drama, music, and dance. The defining characteristics of performing art are live performance, fixed time, the way it was brought into being (through rehearsal), and that it is a “ritual” or social occasion, where you buy a ticket and watch in a collective environment. The four different art forms or disciplines are theatre (traditional; i.e Shakespeare), music (classical), dance (ballet), and Opera. 


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Define both Romanticism, and its characteristics and aesthetics, and naturalism. You can also describe what it is not. 


Romanticism was a complex artistic, literacy, and intellectual movement during the second half of the 18th century (Industrial Revolution), as a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms in the age of Enlightenment, as well as the scientific rationalization of nature. Romanticism meant free expression of imagination and emotion, and putting intuition over reality. It was characterized by passion, volatility, all-encompassing human conditions, individualism, tragedy, awe, and sublime. 

Naturalism is a movement in European drama that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a theatre that attempts to create a perfect illusion of reality through a range of dramatic and theatrical strategies, including: detailed, 3D settings, everyday speech forms (pros over poetry), a secular worldview (no ghosts or gods), a focus on contemporary and indigenous subjects, an extension of the social range of characters portrayed; and a style of acting that attempts to recreate the impression of reality. Naturalism is a “style of acting,” where typical plays depict the tragedies and depressions of human life. 


Define Modernism (Discuss concepts of literature, open-structure, and structuring time).


Modernism, which arose in the late 19th and early 20th century, was a revolt against the conservative values of realism, and valued innovation progress, and experimentation. Modernist Literature hope to throw away passive direction and unreliable narrators; instead using shifting narrators, non-chronological time periods, experimentation with language, and ambiguous beginning and endings. Modernist architecture arose as a part of the Industrial Era and included new materials (steel, glass, iron), skyscrapers, little or no orientation, emphasis on structure, man made materials and “altitude.” 
Define Avant-garde. (Discuss concepts of literature, open-structure, and structuring time).
Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the norms or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. It was originally used to describe the foremost part of an army to any group, particularly artists, that considers itself innovative and ahead of majority. These artists, such as Andy Warhol, were path-breakers, breaking new ground with ideas that have the ability to become mainstream. The goal was that if art was challenging it could lead people to challenge their own lives, like a revolution, leading to social change. 


Outline Peter Brook’s Conception of The Deadly Theatre.;


The author suggest that successful theatre is not of vibrant sensation and/or over-stimulation of the senses and emotions, but theatre in which members of an audience become emotionally and spiritually involved with “the man [walking] across the empty space.” Theatre that doesn’t function to connect with its audience is “deadly” theatre—theatre of dullness; in short, “deadly” theatre is theatre that, in his definition, is simply “bad”.

Two qualities create deadly theatre: lack of human honesty in the production and lack of openness to that honesty in an audience. Both are the result of people doing things for the wrong reason, such as productions created solely to make money, managers who are too budget conscious, and/or audiences who come to the theatre for reasons other than wanting to.


Describe Epic Theatre.


Epic theatre was a theatrical movement in the early to mid-20th century, as a reaction against the naturalistic perceptions of reality. Two of the main techniques of epic theatre are theatricalism and the alienation effect. Theatricalism refers to the idea of making sure the audience always knows they are watching a play, and can be done by: having props that look nothing like the object they are supposed to be, having no props at all, or breaking into song at random moments during the performance. The alienation (or distancing) effect can be done by suddenly speaking in second or third tense, or stopping the play to ask the audience their opinion on a dilemma that is going on in the play. 
What is the Theatre of the Absurd?
Theatre of the absurd is a style of theatre during the late 1940s and 50s which expressed the belief hat in a godless universe, human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. It is based on existentialism (no rational reason for why we are here), self-experimentation (experimenting with who we are and who people see us to be), and attempts to shock people out of their normal, mechanical existence. In theatre of the absurd, the dialogue is cliche and non-sensical, the plots are cynical and under-developed, and the language has words that are incapable of expressing the human condition. 
What is the theatre of cruelty?
The theatre of cruelty is a surrealist form of theatre that questioned reality in a dark and harsh way. It was a theatre that used violence to mentally “strangle,” or shock one into believing that his or her beliefs were obscure. In this process the audience was never actually hurt, and the points made by elevating the lights, sounds, or smells in the room to make the audience uncomfortable or surprised. 

Describe the shift from Ballet to Modern Dance.

In the early 1900s European and American dancers started to rebel against the rigid constraints of Classical Ballet. Shedding the authoritarian controls surrounding classical ballet technique, costume, and shoes, these early modern dance pioneers focused on creative self-expression rather than on technical virtuosity. Modern dance is a more relaxed, free style of dance in which choreographers use emotions and moods to design their own steps, in contrast to ballet’s structured code of steps. It has a deliberate use of gravity, whereas ballet is rigid in its technique. Because of the common history, the two forms (classical ballet and modern) share a similar terminology and structure. Modern dance is a term that applies to a variety of different disciplines, all with subtly different techniques, that responded to the imperialism of ballet through varying, culturally specific catalytic factors.

Define Pop Art and its characteristics.

Pop Art is an art movement that emerged in the 1950s in Britain and the late 1950s in the U.S. As it is characterized by themes and techniques drawn from “popular” culture, such as advertising, comic books, and mundane cultural objects, pop art is widely interpreted as a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism, as well as an expansion upon them. It is aimed to employ images of popular rather than elitist images, emphasizing kitschy elements of a culture, most often through the use of irony. The goal was so that art could have instant meaning and that popular culture would be taken more seriously.;
Define Fluxes and its characteristics.

Fluxus is an international network of artists, composers, and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. Similar to the earlier Dada movement, fluxus emphasizes the concept of anti-war and taking jabs at the seriousness of modern art. It uses minimal performance to highlight their perceived connections between everyday objects and art.;

The Fluxus artistic philosophy can be expressed as a synthesis of four key factors that define the majority of Fluxus work:

  1. Fluxus is an attitude. It is not a movement or a style.
  2. Fluxus is intermedia.;Fluxus creators like to see what happens when different media intersect. They use found and everyday objects, sounds, images, and texts to create new combinations of objects, sounds, images, and texts.
  3. Fluxus works are simple. The art is small, the texts are short, and the performances are brief.
  4. Fluxus is fun. Humour has always been an important element in Fluxus.

What does Danto mean by “the end of art.” (Description in noted)?

Tentative statement of Danto’s thesis: “[T]he end of art consists in the coming to 

awareness of the true philosophical nature of art.” [30] 

End of art defined again.  “[B]y the end of art…I mean the end of a certain narrative 

which has unfolded in art history over the centuries, and which has reached its end in a 

certain freedom from conflicts of the kind inescapable in the Age of Manifestos.” [37] 

Danto identifies two aspects of the transition in philosophical consciousness with respect 

to art: 

1. Art no longer bears responsibility for providing its own definition.  That is the task of 


2.  There is no particular way works of art need to look. [36] 

Progressive Developmental History (PDH) [65] 

Argument for the claim that we’ve reached the end of art. [43ff];

Historical Continuity and Discontinuity of Art.;

a. If art changes its appearance but not its identity as art, what changes and what;

remains the same?; Style changes.; For example, mimesis was the style in the;

Vasarian period and the look of artworks was shaped by it.; In the modern period;

it become a style, but not definitive.; Art existed at both times, but the look of art;

;the style;changed. [44];

b. Previous historical forms of life are recognizable but cannot be re-lived. [45];

c. There are two senses of freedom after the end of art.;

1) One is free to choose any artistic style or form of artistic practice.;

2) One is no longer subject to historical conditions for being an “authentic”;


d. The master narrative of the history of art develops according to three stages:;

1) imitation;

2) ideology (the Age of Manifestos);

3) post-historical (“anything goes” with qualification) [47];

“[A]t first only mimesis was art, then several things were art but each tried to 

extinguish its competitors, and then, finally, it became apparent that there were 

no stylistic or philosophical constraints…. [T]hat is the final moment in the master 

narrative.  It is the end of the story.” [47];

What are some of the innovations of the Beatles?
The innovations of the Beatles can be seen in the progression of their workbetween the three different periods of their career. Their first period, with songs such as, “I want to hold your hand,” was very simplistic. Their songs, which were essentially live recordings, had basic rock and roll instrumentation, themes of happiness and love, and were very structured. However, as they progressed into the “middle period,” with Rubber Room and Revolver, their work became more stylistically defined. They had more intricate instrumentals, did not necessarily have themes to their songs, and if they did they were not always happy; and has more imaginative and less structured chorus’s and lyrics. Most importantly they used the studio sound works way more by adding in previously recorded songs such as the backwards guitar. Finally, their last period, with “strawberry fields forever,” was when they completely went against the typical rock and roll formula. This is when they innovated the idea of a concept album, which was considered an “art piece”, where every song has a story. 

Describe characteristics of the progressive rock movement.

It Aspired to be more than what pop music expected. (Genesis and YES)

1. Long compositions, not formulaic; concept albums

2. Lyrics intricate; often narratives with scientific fantasy, madness, etc. Characterized by detachment from concerns of everyday life. 

3. Musical sophistication; virtuosity (group and individual); talent; unusual time signatures, tempo and key relations off balance.

4. Extreme dynamic (volume) range; large sweeps from soft to loud; concentrated listening. 


Describe Post Modern Dance

Is a 20th century concert dance form. A reaction to the compositional and presentation constraints of modern dance, postmodern dance hailed the use of everyday movement as valid performance art and advocated novel methods of dance composition. The main ideas of modern dance come from everyday concepts, ideas or situations. Any movement is dance and every body is a dancer. Some of the characteristics of modern dance are irony, parody, hyper-reality, spontaneity, improvisation, dialogue and song, and familiar elements used in familiar ways. While rejecting traditional virtuosity, dancers use every day body language and gestures, while mixing high and low art. The music in modern dance is usually popular or silence. 

Describe the Experimental Music/Movement.

Refers to o a compositional tradition which arose in the mid-twentieth century, applied particularly in North America to music composed in such a way that its outcome is unforeseeable. Its most famous and influential exponent was John Cage (Grant 2003, 174). More loosely, the term “experimental” is used in conjunction with genre names to describe music within specific genres that pushes against their boundaries or definitions, or else whose approach is a hybrid of disparate styles, or incorporates unorthodox, new, distinctly unique ingredients (Anon. [n.d.]a). Similarly, it has sometimes been used to describe “transethnic” music: the mixture of recognizable music genres. A quite distinct sense was current in the late 1950s to describe computer-controlled composition, and the term at that time also was sometimes used for electronic music and musique concrète. “Experimental music” has also been used in music journalism as a general term of disapprobation for music departing from traditional norms.

What is installation art?

Installation art describes an artistic genre of site-specific, three-dimensional works designed to transform the perception of a space.

Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called Land art; however the boundaries between these terms overlap. Installation art can be either temporary or permanent. Installation artworks have been constructed in exhibition spaces such as museums and galleries, as well as public- and private spaces. The genre incorporates a very broad range of everyday and natural materials, which are often chosen for their evocative qualities, as well as new media such as video, sound, performance, immersive virtual reality and the internet. Many installations are site-specific in that they are designed to exist only in the space for which they were created.

What was Adorno’s problem with popular music?

Adorno’s problem with popular music is that he believes it is standardized to a point that it is “predigested” – the audience has already heard it. Therefore, it requires no intellectual effort to listen to it. It does not challenge the intellect to push itself. The music is simply accepted as is. Ultimately, popular music “maim[s] the consciousness of those exposed to it”. It undermines the autonomy and independence of judgment.