A medium is the means by which something is conveyed or transmitted. It’s not rare for live artists to work with more than one medium and combine dance, music, speech, text and even technical media like video in their work. The word multimedia sounds very contemporary, but it includes also non-technological media, so the term is applicable to 16th-Century Commedia dell’Arte, which incorporated music, dance and acrobatics to theatre. Without a medium, there is no expression or realization of who we are. It can be our work, our relationships, our hobbies, our practices… It’s important for every aspect of who we are to have a channel to express itself. Perhaps we need to become multimedia… which doesn’t mean technological.
The theme is the central topic of something. The notion that a piece has to have a theme and be about something was put into question during the first half of the 20th Century by postmodern art, including dance, music and theater. With this break, artists compose work which is open enough to invite the audience to make their own meaning or they avoid it completely and compose according to purely formal methodologies. In this way, a piece is no longer a medium encoding a message, but an experience in itself. Just perceiving something as opposed to conceptualizing it, analyzing it, evaluating it or making sense of it is more difficult than it may seem. We can also call it being witness. Or meditation, which has been around far longer than postmodernism.