Performing arts

When it comes to art, acting has been something that has separated classes, countries and cultures. The acting, along with its long history is something that has been refined, making it more impressive every century. At the same time, it is something that falls within the performing arts and how the elements that surround the performance are.

Related topics

Applied arts ,  visual arts ,  visual arts

What are the performing arts?

Performing arts is understood as those disciplines that take into account the study or practice of the performing arts . It may involve theater, film, music, dance, and other expressions. The particularity of this practice is its development on stage . It must involve a setting, characters and interactions between them.

  • Definition
  • Performing arts characteristics
  • Origin
  • History
  • Classification and types of performing arts
  • Elements
  • Where to study performing arts
  • Importance


Jacob Moreno said, at the time, that man is a being of action. Every learning he had was given by the actions he took. The theme of the action is something that has captured the attention of men for centuries. Each experience was something that was not only lived, but also relived in memory. And to express it, sometimes the words were insufficient.

It can be said that primitive man told his stories not only with words, but with mime, with gestures. They are the first signs of the drama.

Like all things in man, the drama evolved. Suddenly, other people were incorporated into the narrative. It was played with the shadows and lights. Sounds, music were involved . The papers were distributed. A script was designed , a story .

The performing arts were being born .

But what are they? Well, basically, they are the disciplines that study or practice the scenic. They involve actors, characters, interactions, a story to tell and an audience that watches. It can be live and direct, or broadcast. They may involve cinema, theater, dance or other manifestations. Here’s a little more detail about this type of art.

Performing arts characteristics

The main characteristics of the performing arts are:

  • It is any form of ” art “ that involves the scenic or staging.
  • It can incorporate cinema, theater, music, dance, etc. In general , it takes into account everything related to ” show business “ .
  • It is important that there is a space to develop the plot. There must be an audience that watches. There must also be actors who, worth the redundancy, act.
  • Its origin is in the religious. Originally, the theater had the function of representing scenes of the Olympian gods.


One could find the origins of these arts in Greece . The first manifestation of this style is, precisely, the theater. At that time, the theater was done with actors who wore masks. These used to have the role of staging important historical or mythical episodes. In this regard, it is common to see representations of works such as Oedipus Rex, The Iliad or the Odyssey, among many others.


Its evolution has been constant, at least in the European world. The performing arts were developed mainly through theater . This became popular in the Greco-Roman world, although it did not cease with the disappearance of the empire . Progressively, it gained popularity to the point that it ceased to be a marginal art expression, and became something respectable. Today, the performing arts are no longer limited to the theater.

Thanks to advances in technology , these arts have diversified. There are movies, concerts and videos .

Classification and types of performing arts

We could say that, among the types of performing arts , we have:

  • Theater : it is the scenic art par excellence. Anyone who hears the concept of these arts will think, almost immediately, of the theater scene. It is distinguished from the others by the use of the stage and the actors who represent the play.
  • Cinema : very similar to the previous one, but with the use of technological and artistic elements that give the viewer a more captivating effect. It consists of the reproduction in audio and video of what is represented by actors on any stage.
  • Music : which can be seen on YouTube videos, on an MP3 player or at a concert. In this art there is a director who directs the other instruments. All in order to create a musical composition.
  • Circus : which incorporates shows inheriting from the Roman circus arts. They are shows that incorporate acts of juggling, acrobatics, among many others.


Regardless of the type , it can be said that the performing arts have the following elements:

  • Actors : that is, people who embody the characters of the drama.
  • Scenario : that is, the spatial place where events take place.
  • Audience : that is, any person who is in the place of spectator of the drama. The public is, in some way, who gives meaning to what is observed.
  • Objects : which can include the entire network of instruments and tools that decorate the stage or participate in the performance (example: Hamlet’s skull).

Where to study performing arts

Going from being a marginal profession , today it can be said that the performing arts occupy a very special place in culture. There are several universities that take these arts as one of their careers. Among them, we can nominate:

  • University of Performing Arts, Vienna.
  • Julliard School, New York.
  • Royal College of Music , Stockholm.
  • London Academic Music and Dramatic Art, London.


One cannot fail to see the influence of the performing arts on popular culture . Today, works like cinema, music and theater operate as one of the main objects of consumption of the common. Its function is not only for entertainment . They are also an important way of transmitting knowledge and cultural expression .


  • MACBETH, HAMLET or ROMEO Y JULIETA, by William Shakespeare (Theater).
  • CITIZEN KANE, by Orson Wells (Cinema).


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