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Essay on the Visual and Performing Arts

The visual and performing arts comprise of various artistic disciplines, all of which demand both creativity and technical skill from the artist or performer. Some of the most common disciplines in the arts include painting, music, theater, and dance. Painting is the art of capturing an image into a surface. The varied techniques in painting have something to do with the painting style employed by the artist. Realism is the depiction of a subject as they look like in real life.

Abstract expressionism is a modernist movement where the painter is more concerned of expressing his emotion in colors and figures on the canvas rather than in representing objects. Expressionism is a distorted piece of realism in that the artist alters a realistic image to incorporate an emotional effect into it. Meanwhile, graffiti is a form of street art in that this refers to images and lettering scratched or painted on walls which are most often public property. The elements of painting refer to the visual attributes of a piece and this includes color, line, texture and unity.

Line refers to the type, style and thickness of the lines which the artist used to define the objects within his painting. Color refers to the shades and pigmentations and their combinations, that define not only the objects and their part to the overall image but also elicits particular emotions from the perceiver. Texture refers to the feel of the painting on canvass like, for instance, how much pressure or amount of paint is applied in the strokes. Unity refers to the relationship between objects within the composition of the painting or how one object or a group relates to the entire piece.

Music is the art of using organized sound and transmitting it through a medium. There are many ways of expressing musical artistry. One is through vocal reproduction, using human voice to produce musical sound. Another is through acoustic or a solo musical instrument such as a guitar or piano. Still another means is through a group of instruments called an orchestra. A fourth is through a combination of voice and accompanying instrument as in a pop music performance. Music has numerous elements, all of which has something to do with aural attributes.

Some examples include beat, meter, pitch and tempo. Beat refers to the pulse of the music, that which you tap your foot with in synchrony. Meter is the grouping of beats into patterns. Tempo is the rate of speed at which the beats occur, telling the listener whether he is listening to slow or fast music. Meanwhile, pitch refers to the highness or lowness of sound. Theater refers to performance art done by an artists or a group of artists in front of an audience. It engages all human senses as theatrical performances aim to involve the audience by saturating him with visual and auditory stimuli.

There are several types of theatrical performances. A straight play involves having actors play out onstage scenes and plots of text written by a playwright. Musical theater is a combination of speech, song and dance. It requires more elaborate staging than plays because of the multiple media incorporated into the performance. Street theater is a presentation conducted outdoors like parks, streets, and even malls. Meanwhile, kabuki is a traditional form of Japanese theater similar to musical theater except that the actors wear elaborate makeup and the movements are stylized.

Theater includes several elements that cover pre-production to actual production. Some of these are movement, lighting, acting, and script. The actor is the one who performs in front of the audience. Movement in theater refers to the blocking or the manner by which the actors move about onstage. Lighting refers to how the light effects enhance the theatrical experience. The script refers to the dialogue, or lyrics in the case of musical theater, that the playwright or lyricist wrote to move the performance plot along.

Dance is the artistic form of body movement in sync with the rhythm of music. There are varieties of dancing styles. Ballet is a very formal and technically demanding kind of dancing that involves years of training with the numerous but conventional techniques and vocabulary. Break dancing is street dancing accompanied by hip-hop music. Swing dancing refers to a group of dance types like jive and boogie performed to the accompaniment of swing jazz music. Ballroom dancing, meanwhile, is any of various social dances like tango and waltz where partners follow certain step patterns.

The elements of dance have a lot to do with movement on a particular space called the dance floor. Actions or gestures refer to the patterns of movement to express a feeling or idea. Space refers to the size and directions of the air and floor around which the dancer performs. Rhythm, as in music, refers to the beat of the dancer’s movements; whether he is moving fast or slowly. Finally, posture refers to the alignment of the dancer’s body as he dances and how it expresses emotions.

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