Expression in the Performing Arts
Editor: Inma Álvarez, Héctor J. Pérez and Francisca Pérez-Carreño
Date Of Publication: Apr 2010
The performing arts represent a significant part of the artistic production in our culture. Correspondingly the fields of drama, film, music, opera, dance and performance studies are expanding. However, these arts remain an underexplored territory for aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Expression in the Performing Arts tries to contribute to this area. The volume collects essays written by international scholars who address a variety of themes concerning the core philosophical topic of expression in the theory of the performing arts.
Specific questions about the ontology of art, the nature of the performances, the role of the performer, and the relations between spectators and works emerge from the study of the performing arts. Besides, these arts challenge the unchanging physicality of other kinds of works of art, usually the direct result of creative individual artist, and barely affected by the particular circumstances of their exhibition. Expression is one of the issues that adopt a special character in the performing arts. Do singers, dancers or actors express the feelings a work is expressive of? How does the performer contribute to the expressive content of the work? How does the spectator emotionally respond to the physical proximity of the performers? Is aesthetic distance avoided in the understanding of the performing arts? How are the expressive properties of work, performance and characters related? And how are the subjectivities they embody revealed? The contributions presented here are not all in agreement on the right answers to theses questions, but they offer a critical and exciting discussion of them.
In addition to original proposals on the theoretical aspect of expression in the performing arts, the collection includes analyses of individual artists, historical productions and concrete works of art, as well as reflections on performative practice.
Inma Álvarez is a Lecturer at the Department of Languages, The Open University, United Kingdom. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at the Conservatorio Superior de Danza in Madrid, Spain. Francisca Pérez-Carreño is Professor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts at the University of Murcia, Spain. Héctor J. Pérez is Associate Professor of Audiovisual Communication and Aesthetics and the Director of the Postgraduate Program in Music at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain. The three collaborate in a research project on the expression of subjectivity in the arts.
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