Performance Type

In this inquiry, performances are grouped in three broad categories:

  • Ritual
  • Community-based performance
  • Artist-based performance

Each type has distinct aesthetic assumptions, requirements for expertise and knowledge, and relationships between performer and audience.

In rituals, community leaders supervise performances in which community members participate actively; no one is a mere spectator. Rituals in the here and now can transport participants to the timeless domain of the sacred, thereby creating space for transformation.

Community-based performances balance artistic product with the aesthetic, ethical, and cultural dimensions of the process. Under the direction of professional artists, performances by community members are shaped by identity, history, culture, and values. The process aims at relationship-building, learning, and transformation.

Artist-based performances by professional artists focus on the experience that the audience will have with the artistic work and the “meaning” that resides in this transaction. The aim is a transcendent experience that reaches beneath the viewers’ defenses to new feelings, insights, and questions.