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A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience members often applaud.

The means of expressing appreciation can vary by culture. Chinese performers will clap with audience at the end of a performance; the return applause signals "thank you" to the audience.[1] In Japan, folk performing arts performances commonly attract individuals who take photographs, sometimes getting up to the stage and within inches of performer's faces.[2]

Sometimes the dividing line between performer and the audience may become blurred, as in the example of "participatory theatre" where audience members get involved in the production.

Theatrical performances can take place daily or at some other regular interval. Performances can take place at designated performance spaces (such as a theatre or concert hall), or in a non-conventional space, such as a subway station, on the street, or in someone's home.

Performance genres

Examples of performance genres include:

Music performance (a concert or a recital) may take place indoors in a concert hall or outdoors in a field, and may require the audience to remain very quiet, or encourage them to sing and dance along with the music.

A performance may also describe the way in which an actor performs. In a solo capacity, it may also refer to a mime artist, comedian, conjurer, or other entertainer.

File:Salvatore Greco violinist.jpg|Palermo Concertmaster Salvatore Greco in performance File:Phil Stacey (cropped, full shot) 071118-N-1644C-007.jpg|A U.S. Navy sailor singing on a stage at a sporting event.



  • Philip V. Bohlman, Marcello Sorce Keller, and Loris Azzaroni (eds.), Musical Anthropology of the Mediterranean: Interpretation, Performance, Identity, Bologna, Edizioni Clueb Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria Editrice, 2009.

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