LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #44 – Criticism

Some live artists purposefully never read reviews. Others would love to get a review, but don’t. A review is recognition that the performance happened, that someone went to see it and has something to say about it. Dance critic Deborah Jowitt says in this AudioStage podcast that reviewing is “inevitably a subjective act. I’m not neutral, I’m not objective, I hope I can be fair (…) (I) try to give something of its essence (…) how I and others seemed to respond (…)”. Being subjective is natural, because we all have our own opinions and feelings about things. However, universalizing our subjective view as if it were an objective fact is using our preferences as a measuring stick to pass judgement. “I don’t like it” is very different to “it’s bad”. Taking responsibility for our opinion and our experience leaves room for all the other opinions and experiences that, together with ours, make up reality.

 


María Ferrara

 

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LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #22 – Suspension of Disbelief

This term is used to refer to the audience putting aside logic in order to engage with the fiction being presented on stage. An example of this is accepting the way in which time goes by or the fact that the action is seen through the opening left by a supposedly removed fourth wall from a room. Actors and actresses do something similar when they use their imagination to create circumstances different to the ones they are really in. In life this capacity can be useful or dangerous. Putting aside the doubt that something can happen may help us make it real. However, ignoring what we know and retreating into a fantasy of how we would like things to be only delays the confrontation. Reality always wins!

 


María Ferrara