Performance Art?

Performance Art
Image Source: malditoforo.com

Yummy wrote a post on the Dance Queens blog about Performance Art.

It’s good – so go here to read it.

Yummy and I talked a lot at the beginning of the year about how things seemed to be changing – for us and for others.

As the year has gone on, however, more and more changes seem to be happening.

I don’t know if the announcement of LL’s Next Gen Platform (not SL 2.0, but Project Sansar, for now) played a part or not.

I know that, with the announcement, I personally took a step back to re-evaluate my involvement in SL.

I’ve been involved in dance since I started in SL.

But it seems that there have been lots of changes this year – more than normal.

Dancers moving to new venues, venues closing, venues opening – all normal activities, but the number of them this year seems to be rising.

One of the shifts centers around the label ‘performance art.’

Yummy stated that “There seems to be a collective mind-shift away from traditional dance-as-entertainment towards dance-as-art in the SL dance-show world. I think it is because here exists the perception that dance-as-art will allow more freedom for creative personal expression.”

I’m not sure that I agree.

I think that part of the shift has been because the terms ‘burlesque,’ ‘neo-burlesque,’ and ‘cabaret’ (which have usually been used by dance troupes), don’t really capture what dance-as-entertainment shows are in SL today.

Most of the dance shows I go to these days are what I would term Vegas-like fare.

After some researching of definitions, perhaps ‘dance revue’ is the most accurate?

A typical dance show is a variety of performers dancing in various acts – usually the length of one song.

Most acts have a single dancer, though there are also couples and group dancing.

And some contain nudity (much like Vegas shows). 😛

As more tools have become available, we now see avatars moving in formations, objects moving, sets fading in and out, and light/particle/special effects.

I wouldn’t label these acts as ‘performance art,’ though I will likely be in the minority.

Yummy’s post contained a quote/definition that sums up my feelings on the subject:  “...Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a conceptual art which conveys a content-based meaning in a more drama-related sense, rather than being simple performance for its own sake for entertainment purposes.”

Of course, what is art?

It’s all in the eye of the beholder, so what you consider art might be something I consider junk, or vice versa.

I think the central concept for me is that ‘performance art is non-traditional.’

So simply changing the name of an act/venue/club/whatever from ‘burlesque’ to ‘performance art’ isn’t all there is to it.

It will be interesting to see how the shift progresses.