Thursday, April 12, 2012

thoughts on performance - an argument for the importance of multiple performances of a work

in the performing arts, the evolution of the work continues through the performance itself. things happen in performance that just don't happen any other time. discoveries are made through each performance of a work that deepens the work, deepens the experience for the performer. through the repetition, it becomes a deeper meditation. there is a life that is breathed into a work when it is being witnessed that grows the work in a way creating and rehearsing in isolation just cannot. the accumulation and growth of knowledge about a work through the medium of the performance itself is so great that in every piece i have ever created or participated in of this nature, it is only after the last of multiple performances that i feel i know enough about the piece to perform it. after.

performance is not like many other art forms - it can be filmed and photographed, but beyond that, there is nothing tangible that has been created. there is no artifact to take with you. it is transient. it only truly exists for the span of the performance itself. and in filming a performance (which is very different than filming something that wasn't created for and presented to a live audience), the essence is lost. the spirit and energy coursing through the environment cannot be captured.

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