All Categories

    The Performer: Art, Life, Politics

    Price-Match is available in-store for recommended titles in CCCU module handbooks
    ISBN: 9780241637647
    Products specifications
    Attribute nameAttribute value
    AuthorSennett, Richard
    Pub Date01/02/2024
    Publisher: HAMISH HAMILTON
    Ship to
    Shipping Method
    Estimated Delivery
    No shipping options
    Availability: In stock

    An exploration of public performance in everyday life, by the leading cultural and social thinker

    The Performer explores the rich relations of the performing arts to society. It traces performing spaces in the city; the emergence of actors, musicians, and dancers as independent artists; the inequality between performer and spectator; the uneasy relations between artistic creation and social and religious ritual, the uses and abuses of acting by politicians. The Performer ties issues together by exploring the sensory powers which the performing arts themselves share, via physical gesture and blocking onstage, lighting, costuming, scenery. Richard Sennett describes the backstage world in which players work on their bodies, and learn to cooperate non-verbally with each other in rehearsals. Sensory expression rather than art 'messages' are, The Performer asserts, the deepest ways in which the performing arts engage with the world.

    Performing is a Janus-faced art. It can be destructive, as when artful demagogues seduce and degrade their followers; but it can also be creative, when art on stage widens and deepens imaginations. The book explains how the same sensory materials of this ethically impure art can be used to degrade or to enlighten the public.

    The Performer draws on history and sociology, and also more personally on the author's early career as a professional cellist, and his later work as a city planner and social thinker. It is the first in a trilogy of books on the fundamental DNA of human expression: performing, narrating, and imaging.