In the performing arts, artists use their bodies to express themselves. They may express themselves using their voice in music or plays. They may also express themselves through dance. Today, the performing arts is the foundation of the entertainment industry. Artists perform in front of an audience.
Photo: Performing Arts (Creative Commons: Shawn Chen).
History of Music
Early humans sang long before formal spoken languages developed. The earliest forms of singing was most likely an imitation of natural sounds. In time, these sounds were used to communicate ideas. Musical devices were also created to complement the singing. By 3,500 BC, music as a form of art was developed in the Middle East.
Today, musical performances take on many forms. Popular forms of entertainment are musical recordings and concert performances. More ‘artistic’ forms of musical performances include the opera and musical plays. Music is now widely used in television, film and computer gaming.
History of Dance
Rock paintings made in 7,000 BC show human figures dancing. Dance was part of early rituals, ceremonies and entertainment. Some early forms of dancing were tied to the healing of individuals. In time, dancing also became a form of communication by telling stories.
As with music, there are many different forms of dance performances today. These range from folk dances, to ‘classical’ ballet, to hip-hop dancing.
History of Acting
Early forms of acting are dated to about 4,000 BC. Egyptian priests acted out their ways of worshipping the dead. The early Chinese used acting to celebrate historical events. Early forms of drama emerged in Greece as part of festivals to their gods.
Today, acting performances take place in the theater, on film, on television and even computer media. Acting is a key part of the entertainment industry today.
Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills
Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.
How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.