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The Performing Arts

What does “The Performing Arts” mean? Does is mean “the arts of performing”, or “the arts that are performed”? Or is it that the inference is that Performing is an Art?

Suppose I suggest that performing is a craft as distinct from an art.

“Nonsense!”, you might say, “Where would music be if it were not performed?”

“Nowhere”, I would agree, “But it’s still the music that’s the art: and the performing of it, however expressive, or mechanical, or finely crafted, or badly executed it might be – is still a performance.”

“Well,” you might opine (hoping to bludgeon me into submission with your dialectic), “there is art in performance, why else would singers be called “Artistes”?. “Why, indeed? Well, I might rank the term “performing artist” almost on the same level as “music industry” (my favourite oxymoron) in the sense that common usage is no guarantee of its, well, common sense.

There is craft and guile aplenty in performing, but Art?

Debate.

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