Performing Arts are forms of art wherein a certain person or group of people called artists use their voice and even body movements to perform in front of an audience. With these elements, artists convey their artistic expressions as opposed to pure visual arts wherein only paint canvas or other sort of materials in order to create a picture of an object, whether physical or static.
In Performing Arts, there are a variety of discipline but with only one purpose and that is to perform in front of an audience. Examples of performing arts include dance, music, circus skills, puppetry or ventriloquism, mime, magic, speech, opera, theatre, and ballet. Those who work in fields like choreography, stagecraft and song composition/writing support performing arts as well.
Performers, as what you call those people who perform in front of an audience , include dancers, magicians, actors, singers, circus artists, and musicians and they adapt their appearances with stage lighting, stage makeup , costumes and all. A specialized form of fine art, which is performance art, is where an artist performs work live to an audience and it involves some sort of plastic art which they call “props”.
There are at least two main branches of performing arts : Theatre and Dance. Theatre focuses more on acting out particular scenes from a story through the combination of music, dance, gesture, speech, spectacle and sound. Forms of theatre include opera, musicals, mime, classical Indian dance, stand-up comedy, illusion, ballet, mime, kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama), improvisational theatre, plays, pantomime, and even contemporary forms such as performance art and postmodern theatre.
Whereas dance (derived from Old French dancier), generally refers to a form of human movement which is used either as a way to express or presented in spiritual, performance or social setting. Aside from expression, dance is also being used to describe methods of non-verbal communication or what we call “body language” between a human being or animal, a motion in inanimate objects , and even certain forms of genres. Through this, the audience would learn or see what the artists are trying to convey to them through the use of their body movements, whether contemporary or not.
Dance is not complete without a choreography (an art of creating or making dances) and a choreographer (one who does the choreography or dance movement himself/herself). It is also not just a form of expression to convey one’s feelings but also a powerful impulse and skillfully choreographed art which make an important connection that runs through any consideration of dance itself as a subject.
An example of this is a contemporary dance performance by a certain group of artists that I watched in PETA Theatre Center. The way they danced simply conveyed the message to the audience without any use of words. Their body movements was enough to explain what the dance performance was all about. It was not just any ordinary dance performance, but it was also a play for the audience to watch.
Dance was also historical in which it already existed during the Western (6th century B.C.)and Eastern times. Western performing arts included those of the Renaissance, Modern era, and Post-War Performance. They existed during 6th century B.C. , where performing arts started during the Colonial period in Greece, ushered by tragic poets like Sophocles who wrote plays which involves dance, then came the Hellenistic period who introduced to us the widespread use of comedy. As the Dark Age began, Western Performing Arts have ended during the 9th and 14th century, in which it was limited to religious historical enactments and morality plays brought by the Church in celebration of holy days and other important occasions.
Eastern performing arts, on the other hand, include those from Middle East , Iran, India & Pakistan, China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan. Each from different countries have their own history to tell. In Middle East, passion plays were known to be the earliest recorded theatrical event that happened way back in 2000 B.C. The play was about the god Osiris which was performed annually during festivals throughout the civilization which marks the beginning of the long relationship between theatre and religion. Forms of performing arts from Iran include Naghali (story telling), Ru-Howzi, Siah-Bazi , Parde Khani and Mareke giri. There are just many different forms of performing arts during historical times.
Performing Arts, to sum it up, consists of Singing, Acting and Dancing. It’s a package of three different forms of art. Without its history, Performing Arts won’t be performing arts.
For those who aspire or dream of becoming actors and actresses, you could take up Performing Arts as a course in some workshops. It’s not only just about becoming future actors or actresses, but also about enhancing your personality and boosting your confidence to shape you into a better person you wanted to be.