What are Performing Arts?

Performance has always been attractive, whether to the eye or ear, depends on the type of performance. More often than not, performance has been considered art, and rightly so. The situation with performing arts is a bit different than with visual arts, for example.

Where the definition for visual arts evolved over the centuries to encompass more and more ways of expression, which were considered craft, performing arts were more liberal.

It is true that more and more ways of expression were added to the group known as performing arts as the years went by and new methods of performance were created, yet the rigidness of the definition of performing arts was nowhere near that of visual arts.

Here are the types of performing arts, in no particular order: music, dance, theatre, musical theatre, opera, magic, illusion, puppetry, mime, circus arts, spoken word and in interdisciplinary form called performance art.


Music involves the use of rhythm, pitch, melody, harmony and dynamic with the idea of creating sound, usually pleasant. Music was always present throughout human history, taking shapes and forms depending on culture, climate and the available instruments. Today, music can be created electronically, up to the point where every instrument’s sound can be simulated. Performing music is usually live in front of an audience, or lately through online video sharing services such as YouTube or SoundCloud.


Dance implies people moving to music and rhythm. Definitions of dance and types of dance vary by a lot, depending on moral, aesthetic, cultural and social restraints. There are many dance forms from every sort of folk dance to rigid and virtuoso types such as ballet, to more athletic and expressive forms such as breakdancing or more properly, breaking. Dance is performed either to a live audience or expressed through videos, especially lately, given how high-quality cameras are widely available.


Theatre is a form of expression that dates back to 1600 BC and was present in China, Ancient Greece and various other parts of the world. There are many types of theatre, the most popular being drama. Other than those, comedy, tragedy, improvisation and musical theatre. Each and every one of those are performed in front of a live audience.

Performance Arts:

This is more of an interdisciplinary form of expression, combining both visual arts and performance arts. As short as possible it involves an artist performing their art live, whether it is painting, sculpting or anything else considered fine arts. It can be both spontaneous or planned, improvised or rehearsed to the detail.

These are but a few of the many performing arts which are by themselves interesting and should be examined in detail, especially live.