Free «A Critical Research Paper on the Role of Audience in the Performing Arts» Essay Sample

Performing arts represents a unique sphere of cultural heritage which based on social preferences of the particular society and which reflects individual needs and expectations of the audience. This soft vulnerability and responsiveness is lacking in our common understanding of fullness, which is taken from the cultural model of internal pressure. In performing arts, the audience understands fullness as a storing of energy, and giving as an unlocking of energy. It barely maintains its own independent uprightness. The contingency of its balance is so evident that we feel its balance has just been achieved and may be temporary. The audience would expect that to stabilize its balance, making it a more permanent state, it would have to learn back more to where most of its weight is. Yet, on the contrary, it leans forward and is on the verge of toppling over, held only by the downward pull of the heavy bulk of its body.

The audience in performing arts balances self-sustained context forward securely from a firm foundation. Its leaning forward jeopardizes its grounding. Its earthy grounding is not being used as a stable foundation upon which to build. This phenomenon leads us to question our common conception of the arts as a secure, flat plane upon which we build. Performing arts show ground as moving, as changing, not as secured, inert matter. This ground is not the permanent, foundation upon which viewers and listeners build high-rises or philosophical systems; performing arts become a ground returned to its original goals (amusement). The rising and reclining movements of the arts do not come out in a straight, uniform way from the jointure (Abercrombie and Longhurst, 1998).

In performing arts, unique perception of reality and needs of the audience are reflected in historical rather than essential ideals performed. It is also important to emphasize that, in my view, the process of developing (i.e., going toward) a social issue in performing arts is backward looking, whereby the way in which particular qualities have been associated with the masculine in metaphysics and others have clustered around the feminine is put into relief. The search for immortality and stable ground that marks the tradition would seem to be a description of the western attempt to escape our deepest vulnerabilities. The viewers attempt to secure ourselves against the changes of earth and sky, to direct our will toward independent, eternal fulfillment, and thereby to ignore the independent presence of historical emergent nature (McCarthy, 2001).

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Critics admit that to understand how the performing arts influence the perception of reality, we must discuss to some extent the nature of arts (McCarthy, 2001). The question of performing arts is not merely an academic question confined to the sphere of metaphysics but is a question that raises itself in a variety of ways in those moments when we are struck by the sheer wonder of merely human culture. Such questioning of culture may be a fundamental characteristic of our human being. This questioning might be phrased, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" "What is that?" or simply, "What's happening?" These questions appear to be ultimately unanswerable because they lead us to think on the enigma of culture itself. On one hand, culture, and performing arts as a part of it, seems to be the most general and the most abstract of all concepts and thus devoid of all particular content and meaning. Yet, on the other hand, the question of culture seems to be completely obvious and the fullest of concepts, since everything is involved in performing reality or, to some extent, is. All things would seem to be bound by the fact that they are, and thus the world-art-home is not a mere totality of parts but is in some sense a gathered indeterminate whole. It is important to understand that, although performing arts have been named in different ways in the history of culture, this does not mean that different philosophers have viewed the same existence in varying perspectives, for culture itself changes historically. In the history of western civilization, performing arts depend upon social preferences and special problems of the audiences and can be seen to have inner movements that undergo changes over broad epochs (McCarthy, 2001).

The audience plays the role of a judge which accepts or rejects the performance. These changes are not the way various cultural traits have conceived of. It occurs over and above our knowing and doing. On one hand, artists do not dictate what art is and, on the other hand, historical art does not determine the historical emergence of new culture. Rather, performing arts as the historical category occurs through the relational matrix of humans and animals, earth and sky, in their historical spatiotemporal situations being has undergone various epochal transmutations, culminating in its final recurring form as Will to Power (McCarthy, 2001).

For instance, opera’s undisputed power and importance precipitated more than a little concern about its potentially adverse effects: its sensuality, its capacity to deceive, its capacity to influence human character subtly but powerfully, and indeed, even its capacity to undermine state security. Attractiveness of operas consists exclusively in the pleasure that attends contemplation of their formal configurations. Sensual pleasure is beautiful only where it gives rise to pattern or configuration, because only pattern can be beautiful. Sensual pleasure by itself is only agreeable. The main features of the audience are a need for historicism and social reflections, a strong impact on feelings and sensation and authentic nature. These are people who vigorously reject the romanticized excess of emotional listening. But rather than attempting to move beyond it, into the kind of critical awareness engendered by authentically modern music, they naively retreat to the music of periods which they believe (wrongly) to be safe havens from the forces of reification and the predominantly commodity character of music (McCarthy, 2001). Opera, dance and drama are a form of art because listeners take deep pleasure in music. Listeners and viewers also take pleasure in music for the right reasons: pleasure, enthusiasm, and passion are not good in and of themselves, and such is music's power that a more substantial defense is required: one that shows a value beyond its capacity to arouse, delight, and entertain. Not just any listener's preferences count; only those of the fully competent, responsible listener. Nor is inspiration enough; artistic inspiration must be critically informed, disciplined, rational. The opera is a unique form of art in which words and music are interdependent: music begins where words become powerless in expression. The audience’s capacity to forge unity and its exemplary coherence make it a highly desirable imitation, offering insight into the harmonious foundations of virtue, reason, and beauty alike. The performing arts pursue for pleasure's sake alone, thus music that merely entertains, music that caters to self-indulgence and appetitive gratification. In performing arts, the dream-like atmosphere, certain scenes seemed pedestrian, and the point should be well taken: the accoutrements of theatrical representation might easily puncture symbolism (Stein and Bathurst, 2008).

As a form of art, performing arts are fundamentally representative, and our souls do indeed undergo changes when we hear it. Instead of dangerously irrational pleasures and copies thrice removed from reality, then, images may apparently afford acceptable pleasures and, indeed, constitute instances of learning. Part of the pleasure people derive from imitations comes from their capacity to show "something fresh”, something new and beneficial. What is imitated is not so important as the manner of its representation. And the pleasure of the experience is the understandable result of our having learned something, of appreciating a particularly imaginative perspective or manner of portrayal. That opera’s sounds may have the capacity to yield insight. Taking pleasure in sounds is a natural human tendency because pleasure needs not be fundamentally irrational and suspect. The nature and the significance of pleasure is as various as its attendant activities.


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