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Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on [[Society|social]], [[Culture|cultural]], [[aesthetic]] [[artistic]] and [[moral]] constraints and range from functional movement (such as [[folk dance]]) to codified, [[virtuoso]] techniques such as [[ballet]]. In [[sport]]s, [[gymnastics]], [[figure skating]], and [[synchronized swimming]] are ''dance'' disciplines while [[martial arts]] "[[Kata (martial arts)|kata]]" are often compared to dances.
Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on [[Society|social]], [[Culture|cultural]], [[aesthetic]] [[artistic]] and [[moral]] constraints and range from functional movement (such as [[folk dance]]) to codified, [[virtuoso]] techniques such as [[ballet]]. In [[sport]]s, [[gymnastics]], [[figure skating]], and [[synchronized swimming]] are ''dance'' disciplines while [[martial arts]] "[[Kata (martial arts)|kata]]" are often compared to dances.
==History of Western performing arts==
{{main|Western art history}}
[[Image:Bildhuggarkonst, Sofokles, Nordisk familjebok.png|right|thumb|150px|[[Sophocles]], as depicted in the [[Nordisk familjebok]].]]
Starting in the 6th century BC, the [[Classical antiquity|Classical period]] of performing art began in [[Greece]], ushered in by the tragic poets such as [[Sophocles]]. These poets wrote plays which, in some cases, incorporated dance (see [[Euripides]]). The [[Hellenistic civilization|Hellenistic period]] began the widespread use of [[comedy]].
However by the 6th century AD, Western performing arts had been largely ended, as the [[Dark Ages]] began. Between the 9th century and 14th century, performing art in the West was limited to religious historical enactments and [[morality play]]s, organized by the [[Roman Catholic Church|Church]] in celebration of holy days and other important events.
In the 15th century performing arts, along with the arts in general, saw a revival as the Renaissance began in [[Italy]] and spread throughout [[Europe]] plays, some of which incorporated dance were performed and [[Domenico da Piacenza]] was credited with the first use of the term ''ballo'' (in ''De Arte Saltandi et Choreas Ducendi'') instead of ''danza'' (dance) for his ''baletti'' or ''balli'' which later came to be known as [[Ballet]]s. The first Ballet ''per se'' is considered to be [[Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx]]'s [[Ballet Comique de la Reine]] (1581).
[[Image:KDujardinsCommedia.jpg|right|thumb|150px|[[commedia dell'arte]] show, dated 1657. ([[Louvre]])]]
By the mid-16th century [[commedia dell'arte]] became popular in Europe, introducing the use of [[improvisation]]. This period also introduced the [[Elizabethan masque]], featuring music, dance and elaborate costumes as well as professional theatrical companies in [[England]]. [[William Shakespeare]]'s plays in the late 16th century developed from this new class of professional performance.
In 1597, the first [[opera]], [[Dafne]] was performed and throughout the 17th century, opera would rapidly become the entertainment of choice for the [[aristocracy]] in most of Europe, and eventually for large numbers of people living in cities and towns throughout Europe.
===Modern era===
{{main|Modern world}}
The introduction of the [[proscenium arch]] in Italy during the 17th century established the traditional theater form that persists to this day. Meanwhile, in England, the [[Puritans]] forbid acting, bringing a halt to performing arts which lasted until 1660. After this period, women began to appear in both [[French language|French]] and English plays. The French introduced a formal dance instruction in the late 17th century.
It is also during this time that the first plays were performed in the [[American Colonies]].
During the 18th century the introduction of the popular [[comic opera|opera buffa]] brought opera to the masses as an accessible form of performance. [[Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|Mozart]]'s ''[[The Marriage of Figaro]]'' and ''[[Don Giovanni]]'' are landmarks of the late 18th century opera.
At the turn of the 19th century [[Ludwig van Beethoven|Beethoven]] and the [[Romantic movement]] ushered in a new era that lead first to the spectacles of [[grand opera]] and then to the great musical dramas of [[Giuseppe Verdi]] and the [[Gesamtkunstwerk]] (total work of art) of the operas of [[Richard Wagner]] leading directly to the music of the 20th century.
The 19th century was a period of growth for the performing arts for all social classes, the technical introduction of [[Gas lighting|gaslight]] to theaters in the [[United States]], [[burlesque]] (a British import that became popular in the U.S.), [[minstrel dancing]], and [[variety theater]]. In ballet, women make great progress in the previously male-dominated art.
[[Image:Isadora duncan.jpg|right|thumb|150px|[[Isadora Duncan]], one of the developers of [[free dance]].]]
[[Modern dance]] began in the late 19th century and early 20th century in response to the restrictions of traditional ballet.
[[Konstantin Stanislavski]]'s [[Stanislavski System|"System"]] revolutionized acting in the early 20th century, and continues to have a major influence on actors of stage and screen to the current day. Both [[impressionism]] and [[modern realism]] were introduced to the stage during this period.
With the invention of the [[film|motion picture]] in the late 19th century by [[Thomas Edison]], and the growth of the [[motion picture industry]] in [[Hollywood]] in the early 20th century, film became a dominant performance medium throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
The [[Darktown Follies]] and the later cultural growth of the [[Harlem Renaissance]] spanned the 1910s to the early 1940s. [[Rhythm and blues]], a cultural phenomenon of black America became a distinctive genera in the early 20th century.
In the 1930s [[Jean Rosenthal]] introduced what would be come modern [[stage lighting]], changing the nature of the stage as the [[Broadway musical]] became a phenomenon in the United States. [[George Gershwin]] and [[Rodgers & Hammerstein]] radically re-shaped the medium as the [[Great depression]] ended and [[World War II]] erupted.
===Post-War performance===
Post-World War II performing arts were highlighted by the resurgence of both ballet and opera in Europe and the United States.
[[Image:Aa ellington career 2 e.jpg|right|thumb|150px|Portrait of [[Alvin Ailey]].]]
[[Alvin Ailey]]'s revolutionary [[American Dance Theater]] was created in the 1950s, signaling the radical changes that were to come to performing arts in the 1950s and 1960s as new cultural themes bombarded the public consciousness in the United States and abroad. [[Postmodernism]] in performing arts dominated the 1960s to large extent.
[[Rock and roll]] evolved from [[rhythm and blues]] during the 1950s, and became the staple musical form of popular entertainment.
In 1968, ''[[Hair (musical)|Hair]]'' introduced the [[rock opera]].
==History of Eastern performing arts==
===Middle East===
The earliest recorded theatrical event dates back to 2000 BC with the [[passion plays]] of [[Ancient Egypt]]. This story of the god [[Osiris]] was performed annually at festivals throughout the civilization, marking the known beginning of a long relationship between theatre and religion.
The most popular forms of [[theater]] in the [[Islamic Golden Age|medieval Islamic world]] were [[puppet]] theatre (which included hand puppets, [[shadow play]]s and [[marionette]] productions) and live [[passion play]]s known as ''ta'ziya'', where actors re-enact episodes from [[Muslim history]]. In particular, [[Shia Islam]]ic [[Play (theatre)|plays]] revolved around the ''[[shaheed]]'' (martyrdom) of [[Ali]]'s sons [[Hasan ibn Ali]] and [[Husayn ibn Ali]]. Live secular plays were known as ''akhraja'', recorded in medieval ''[[Adab (behavior)|adab]]'' literature, though they were less common than puppetry and ''ta'ziya'' theater.<ref>{{citation|last=Moreh|first=Shmuel|contribution=Live Theater in Medieval Islam|title=Studies in Islamic History and Civilization|editor-last=David Ayalon|editor-first=Moshe Sharon|publisher=[[Brill Publishers]]|year=1986|isbn=965264014X|pages=565–601}}</ref>
{{main|Theatre in India|Sanskrit drama}}
Folk theatre and dramatics can be traced to the religious ritualism of the [[Vedic period|Vedic peoples]] in the [[2nd millenium BC]]. This folk theatre of the misty past was mixed with dance, food, ritualism, plus a depiction of events from daily life. It was the last element which made it the origin of the classical theatre of later times. Many historians, notably D. D. Kosambi, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, Adya Rangacharaya, etc. have referred to the prevalence of ritualism amongst [[Indo-Aryans|Indo-Aryan]] tribes in which some members of the tribe acted as if they were wild animals and some others were the hunters. Those who acted as mammals like goats, buffaloes, reindeer, monkeys, etc. were chased by those playing the role of hunters.
[[Bharata Muni]] (fl. 5th–2nd century BC) was an ancient Indian writer best known for writing the ''[[Natya Shastra of Bharata]]'', a theoretical treatise on Indian performing arts, including [[theatre]], [[dance]], [[acting]], and [[music]], which has been compared to [[Aristotle]]'s ''[[Poetics (Aristotle)|Poetics]]''. Bharata is often known as the father of Indian theatrical arts. His ''Natya Shastra'' seems to be the first attempt to develop the technique or rather art, of drama in a systematic manner. The Natya Shastra tells us not only what is to be portrayed in a drama, but how the portrayal is to be done. Drama, as Bharata Muni says, is the imitation of men and their doings (''loka-vritti''). As men and their doings have to be respected on the stage, so drama in Sanskrit is also known by the term roopaka which means portrayal.
The ''[[Ramayana]]'' and ''[[Mahabharata]]'' can be considered the first recognized plays that originated in India. These epics provided the inspiration to the earliest Indian dramatists and they do it even today. Indian dramatists such as [[Bhasa]] in the second century BC wrote plays that were heavily inspired by the ''Ramayana'' and ''Mahabharata''.
[[Kālidāsa]] in the first century BC, is arguably considered to be ancient [[India]]'s greatest dramatist. Three famous romantic plays written by Kālidāsa are the ''[[Mālavikāgnimitram]]'' (''Mālavikā and Agnimitra''), ''[[Vikramuurvashiiya]]'' (''Pertaining to Vikrama and Urvashi''), and ''[[The Recognition of Sakuntala|Abhijñānaśākuntala]]'' (''The Recognition of Shakuntala''). The last was inspired by a story in the ''Mahabharata'' and is the most famous. It was the first to be translated into [[English language|English]] and [[German language|German]]. In comparison to Bhasa, who drew heavily from the epics, Kālidāsa can be considered an original [[playwright]].
The next great Indian dramatist was [[Bhavabhuti]] (c. 7th century). He is said to have written the following three plays: ''Malati-Madhava'', ''Mahaviracharita'' and ''Uttar Ramacharita''. Among these three, the last two cover between them, the entire epic of ''Ramayana''. The powerful Indian emperor [[Harsha]] (606–648) is credited with having written three plays: the comedy ''[[Ratnavali]]'', ''[[Priyadarsika]]'', and the [[Buddhist]] drama ''[[Nagananda]]''. Many other dramatists followed during the [[Middle Ages]].
{{main|Chinese theatre}}
There are references to theatrical entertainments in China as early as 1500 BC during the [[Shang Dynasty]]; they often involved music, clowning and acrobatic displays.
The Tang Dynasty is sometimes known as "The Age of 1000 Entertainments". During this era, [[Emperor Xuanzong of Tang China|Emperor Xuanzong]] formed an acting school known as the Children of the [[Pear Garden]] to produce a form of drama that was primarily musical.
During the Han Dynasty, [[shadow puppetry]] first emerged as a recognized form of theatre in China. There were two distinct forms of shadow puppetry, Cantonese southern and Pekingese northern. The two styles were differentiated by the method of making the puppets and the positioning of the rods on the puppets, as opposed to the type of play performed by the puppets. Both styles generally performed plays depicting great adventure and fantasy, rarely was this very stylized form of theatre used for political propaganda. Cantonese shadow puppets were the larger of the two. They were built using thick leather which created more substantial shadows. Symbolic color was also very prevalent; a black face represented honesty, a red one bravery. The rods used to control Cantonese puppets were attached perpendicular to the puppets’ heads. Thus, they were not seen by the audience when the shadow was created. Pekingese puppets were more delicate and smaller. They were created out of thin, translucent leather usually taken from the belly of a donkey. They were painted with vibrant paints, thus they cast a very colorful shadow. The thin rods which controlled their movements were attached to a leather collar at the neck of the puppet. The rods ran parallel to the bodies of the puppet then turned at a ninety degree angle to connect to the neck. While these rods were visible when the shadow was cast, they laid outside the shadow of the puppet; thus they did not interfere with the appearance of the figure. The rods attached at the necks to facilitate the use of multiple heads with one body. When the heads were not being used, they were stored in a muslin book or fabric lined box. The heads were always removed at night. This was in keeping with the old superstition that if left intact, the puppets would come to life at night. Some puppeteers went so far as to store the heads in one book and the bodies in another, to further reduce the possibility of reanimating puppets. Shadow puppetry is said to have reached its highest point of artistic development in the eleventh century before becoming a tool of the government.
In the [[Sung Dynasty]], there were many popular plays involving [[acrobatic]]s and [[music]]. These developed in the [[Yuan Dynasty]] into a more sophisticated form with a four or five act structure.
Yuan drama spread across China and diversified into numerous regional forms, the best known of which is Beijing Opera, which is still popular today.
===Southeast Asia===
Theatre in [[Southeast Asia]] was mostly influenced by Indian theatre.
In [[Thailand]], it has been a tradition from the Middle Ages to stage plays based on plots drawn from Indian epics. In particular, the theatrical version of Thailand's national epic ''[[Ramakien]]'', a version of the Indian ''[[Ramayana]]'', remains popular in Thailand even today.
In [[Cambodia]], at the ancient capital [[Angkor Wat]], stories from the Indian epics ''Ramayana'' and ''[[Mahabharata]]'' have been carved on the walls of temples and palaces. Similar reliefs are found at [[Borobudur]] in [[Indonesia]].
During the 14th century, there were small companies of actors in Japan who performed short, sometimes vulgar comedies. A director of one of these companies, Kan'ami (1333–1384), had a son, [[Zeami Motokiyo]] (1363–1443) who was considered one of the finest child actors in Japan. When Kan'ami's company performed for [[Ashikaga Yoshimitsu]] (1358–1408), the Shogun of Japan, he implored Zeami to have a court education for his arts. After Zeami succeeded his father, he continued to perform and adapt his style into what is today [[Noh]]. A mixture of [[pantomime]] and vocal acrobatics, this style has fascinated the Japanese for hundreds of years.
Japan, after a long period of civil wars and political disarray, was unified and at peace primarily due to shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1600–1668). However, alarmed at increasing Christian growth, he cut off contact from Japan to Europe and China and outlawed Christianity. When peace did come, a flourish of cultural influence and growing merchant class demanded its own entertainment. The first form of theatre to flourish was Ningyō jōruri (commonly referred to as [[Bunraku]]). The founder of and main contributor to Ningyō jōruri, [[Chikamatsu Monzaemon]] (1653–1725), turned his form of theatre into a true art form. Ningyō jōruri is a highly stylized form of theatre using puppets, today about 1/3d the size of a human. The men who control the puppets train their entire lives to become master puppeteers, when they can then operate the puppet's head and right arm and choose to show their faces during the performance. The other puppeteers, controlling the less important limbs of the puppet, cover themselves and their faces in a black suit, to imply their invisibility. The dialogue is handled by a single person, who uses varied tones of voice and speaking manners to simulate different characters. Chikamatsu wrote thousands of plays during his lifetime, most of which are still used today.
Kabuki began shortly after Bunraku, legend has it by an actress named Okuni, who lived around the end of the sixteenth century. Most of Kabuki's material came from Nõ and Bunraku, and its erratic dance-type movements are also an effect of Bunraku. However, Kabuki is less formal and more distant than Nõ, yet very popular among the Japanese public. Actors are trained in many varied things including dancing, singing, pantomime, and even acrobatics. Kabuki was first performed by young girls, then by young boys, and by the end of the sixteenth century, Kabuki companies consisted of all men. The men who portrayed women on stage were specifically trained to elicit the essence of a woman in their subtle movements and gestures.
==See also==
==See also==
{{main|Outline of performing arts}}
* [[Arts]]
* [[Arts]]
* [[Fine art]]
* [[Fine art]]

Latest revision as of 10:41, January 6, 2010

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Main article: Arts

The performing arts are those forms of art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object. The term "performing arts" first appeared in the English language in the year 1711.

Types of performing artsEdit

Performing arts include the dance, music, opera, drama,Spoken word and circus arts.

Artists who participate in performing arts in front of an audience are called performers, including actors, comedians, dancers, musicians, and singers. Performing arts are also supported by workers in related fields, such as songwriting and stagecraft.

Performers often adapt their appearance, such as with costumes and stage makeup, etc.

There is also a specialized form of fine art in which the artists perform their work live to an audience. This is called performance art. Most performance art also involves some form of plastic art, perhaps in the creation of props. Dance was often referred to as a plastic art during the Modern dance era.


Main article: Music

Music as an academic discipline mainly focuses on two career paths, music performance (focused on the orchestra and the concert hall) and music education (training music teachers). Students learn to play musical instrument, but also study music theory, musicology, history of music and musical composition. In the arts tradition, music is also used to broaden skills of non-musicians by teaching skills such as concentration and listening.


File:Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana.jpg

"Drama" (Greek "to do", "seeing place") is the branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle—indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialogue style of plays, theatre takes such forms as musicals, opera, ballet, illusion, mime, classical Indian dance, kabuki, mummers' plays, improvisational theatre, stand-up comedy, pantomime, and non-conventional or arthouse theatre.


Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.

Dance is also used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain musical forms or genres.

Choreography is the art of making dances, and the person who does this is called a choreographer.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. In sports, gymnastics, figure skating, and synchronized swimming are dance disciplines while martial arts "kata" are often compared to dances.

See alsoEdit


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