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The Pandemic Is Remaking What Performance Can Be

Performances In Isolation

  • The world is used to seeing people performing in the iconic public streets and podiums all across the planet, it is a strange sight now, with near-total emptiness and silence as ‘Quarantine’ becomes the rule.

  • Performance artists, who usually rely on small and big crowds, are now springing up in their homes and balconies, and of course, online, live-streaming their performances to the entire world while being isolated from it.

  • Even though most of the events, news, interaction and performances are now online, whatever is left of our confined lives has started to appear more real.

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The Pandemic Is Remaking What Performance Can Be

The Pandemic Is Remaking What Performance Can Be

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-pandemic-is-remaking-what-performance-can-be

newyorker.com

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Key Idea

Performances In Isolation

  • The world is used to seeing people performing in the iconic public streets and podiums all across the planet, it is a strange sight now, with near-total emptiness and silence as ‘Quarantine’ becomes the rule.

  • Performance artists, who usually rely on small and big crowds, are now springing up in their homes and balconies, and of course, online, live-streaming their performances to the entire world while being isolated from it.

  • Even though most of the events, news, interaction and performances are now online, whatever is left of our confined lives has started to appear more real.

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Using music

During the plague of Saint Charles in the summer of 1576, religious gatherings were banned in Italy for fear of contagion. But nothing could stand in the people's way.

Following a call t...

Music connects

Music is a very powerful tool during quarantine. People in Italy, Spain, and the wider world are using music to bring their communities together.

When you're making music, you submit your mind and body to its regulation. When you're doing the Macarena with your neighbors, you're contributing to the larger goal of the group and inspire global solidarity.

Other benefits of music

Since the time of ancient Greece, medicine claimed that maintaining a positive mind can help treat physical disease.

  • During the Renaissance, patients were encouraged to compose and study art and play music.
  • When plague approached England, Henry VIII chose his organ player as one of the five men he quarantined with.

Music asks that we laugh, and sing, and dance, and seems to be a real antidote to fear, just as the Renaissance doctors claimed.

Work: An inevitable Curse
Work: An inevitable Curse

Working, in broad terms has always been a curse, especially in ancient times for a majority of people. Work is to be done for providing basic food and shelter, and in most cases, it does not provid...

The Purpose Of Work

Work is the effort we make to get what nature did not provide us automatically, or what is not in abundance. We need food, water, shelter, clothes, and basic necessities that make our lives easier. We invent tools to help ourselves where nature didn’t help us.

Example: We couldn’t carry too much water in our cupped hands, so we worked and made a bucket to carry it.

The Tools We Use To Work

Apart from simple mechanical objects that define what tools are, like a hammer or a bucket, tools can also have broader meanings like:

  • A book is a tool to preserve our ideas and memory.
  • A painting can be a tool to preserve the beauty of what we see or imagine.
  • Religion can be a tool to drill into our minds the ideas of morality and consolation that we otherwise will not want to think about.

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Sesame Street
Sesame Street

Before Sesame Street, music wasn't even considered as a means to teach children. But Sesame Street changed that and proved that kids are very receptive to a grammar lesson contained in a song.

Musical stars

Big-name stars lined up to make guest appearances. Stevie Wonder and Grover; Loretta Lynn and the Count; Smokey Robinson and a marauding letter U. "Sesame Street" also showcased Afro-Caribbean rhythms, operatic powerhouses, Latin beats, Broadway showstoppers, and bebop.

Now, after 4,526 episodes, the legacy is evident: It impacted the music world as much as it shaped TV history, inspiring fans and generations of artists.

The goal

The aim of "Sesame Street" was to build school preparedness and narrow the educational gap between lower- and upper-income children.

They used pedagogy advice from a Harvard professor. Research also showed children were more receptive when they watched with caregivers, so celebrities were introduced.

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