Aesthetics in Performance

Aesthetics in Performance

Aesthetics in Performance

Aesthetics in Performance

Synopsis

In various ways, the essays presented in this volume explore the structures and aesthetic possibilities of music, dance and dramatic representation in ritual and theatrical situations in a diversity of ethnographic contexts in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Each essay enters into a discussion of the ¢#128;#156;logic¢#128;#157; of aesthetic processes exploring their social and political and symbolic import. The aim is above all to explore the way artistic and aesthetic practices in performance produce and structure experience.

Excerpt

Bruce Kapferer and Angela Hobart

The essays in this volume address aesthetic forms and dynamics with particular reference to performance. Performance itself is considered aesthetically, that is, as a process that continually forms itself before reflection, engaging those embraced in its dynamic field to its constructive and experientially constitutive force.

Broadly, our use of the concept of aesthetics applies to created symbolic genres, or dynamic structures within which human experience, meaning, and value are constituted or emergent. This orientation accounts for the concentration on performance in many of these essays. It is through performance that the capacities and qualities of what may be described as aesthetic genres, styles, or forms are generated and realized.

Conventionally, the study of aesthetics has concentrated on art forms and the issue of aesthetic judgement. Kant is the commanding figure who begins the major discourse that still dominates concerning the relation between subjective and objective (rational scientific) knowledge and understanding. This is not to ignore other major thinkers in the field of aesthetics where Western thought dominates, such as the towering figure of Hegel and his various critics including Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, whose ideas have been seminal in more recent poststructuralist and postmodern thought. These latter scholars have been important in the shattering of the grand totalizing theoretical schema, for example, that characterize so much modernist thought; this has never been more magnificently epitomized than in Hegel's still grandly

Notes for this section are located on page 21.

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