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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Music Performance Paper & Dance Performance Paper (Essay Sample)


Analyze two performances in relation to one another. Compare AND contrast. What similar themes or meanings are they exploring? How does the pre-performance lecture and/or outside research help you understand the meaning of the performance? How do the performances use technical aspects to help convey meaning? Make sure you are discussing how the performance use aspects in similar AND different ways.

You must analyze performances you saw for this class from two different categories: music, theatre or dance. You will not receive credit for writing about two theatrical performances.

Paper must be at least 750 words and 5 pages maximum (not including work cited, if applicable), will stop reading once I reach the sixth page. Anything not covered in 5 pages will not be counted.


1. MEANING (4 points)

Create a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph of your paper answering the questions: What do you think the performances were each trying to achieve? What similar meanings are they exploring?

How do they diverge? Use a minimum of 2 specific and concrete examples from EACH production (4 examples total for this section) to support your analysis.

2. DESIGN ASPECTS (4 points)

In addition to the performance of the actors, musicians, and dancers, evaluate the effectiveness of at least two design aspects. Choose from lighting, sound design, special effects, costuming, scenery, and/or props. Identify how the two performances used the same aspects to create a similar AND different effects.

You must talk about how at least one of these aspects was used similarly and how another aspect was used differently between the two performances. How were these aspects used to communicate meaning? Use a minimum of 2 specific and concrete examples from EACH production (4 examples total for this section) to support your analysis.


Using concrete examples from the outside research and/or the pre-performance lecture, support your analysis of how the two performances are exploring similar themes. This does not have to be the same research you did for your pre-performance paper, although it certainly can be. You may use new sources to support your point, if you wish. As with all of your papers, please makes sure to use outside academic resources only. If you use outside research you MUST cite your sources for it to count. Use a minimum of 2 specific and concrete examples from EACH pre-performance lecture/research (4 examples total for this section) to support your analysis.


1. PAPER HEADING (.5 point)

Please provide a heading for each paper using the format as specified below. The heading must include your first and last name, paper type (final) and FAR 1500.

Example Heading:

Jane Smith


FAR 1500

2. FORMAT (.5 point)

All papers to be submitted in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced, 1-inch margin.

3. STRUCTURE (1 point)

Begin with an INTRODUCTION paragraph, introducing the ideas in your paper. Use BODY paragraphs to cover the CONTENT in the paper. End with a CONCLUSION paragraph.

4. MLA (1 point)

Use MLA format for song and play titles and for citing sources (if applicable)


Proofread your paper to ensure there are no obvious spelling or grammatical errors. More than 3 errors will result in a 1 point deduction.


Art is an expression of thoughts and emotions which shows not only our personal perception of the natural world but provided a means for us to share the way we experienced the world. Art is a communication of intimate concepts which cannot be portrayed by words alone. Rather, Art is an exemplified use of a media in order to convey a message intended to be expressed. Performing Arts is one of the various forms of creative activity which is aimed to perform in front of an audience, such as drama, music, and dance. Although, performing arts encompass variations, particularly in the use of a medium-whether it was through graceful movements, sound harmony, or even both, those media still found to share commonality and distinct uniqueness in terms of expression. Despite the differences, I do believe that both music and dance productions I have witnessed aimed to educate and entertain the target audience just like any other forms of art. I also do believe that the two presentations explored the same meaning and that is about how to deal with life lessons and experiences. In this article, the relationship of the dance and music performances will be further analyzed. Similarities and differences will be extracted from the two in regards to several elements of performing arts which include the purpose or goal of the performances, focus, theme, and design aspects.
Music and dance diverge in various ways in reference to content and focus. Music, being the universal performing arts, focuses on auditory attention since it dealt with sound technicalities such as time, tempo, and polyphonic variation. It was evident in the production when the symphonic band conductor used different musical elements to show that the band has their own rhythm and order (“The Conductor between Hearing and Listening”, 2018). Dance, on the other hand, being a very complex among performing arts, which emphasizes more on visual appeal since it aimed to promote postural stability through graceful and variety of dance movement for aesthetics. The physical movement of “Taking Flight” highlighted the complexity of dance as a performance since before starting to dance in an African style, the group of dancers initiated the act by running first across the stage from left to right for emphasis. (Platz et al, 2012)
The mood or emotions that each production wanted to illustrate also differ. From the musical performance, it was obvious that the mood intended to be express was the solemnity and classicality of the show which somehow provides a spirit of inner self-meditation and cycle of emotions towards the audience. This has been very apparent when the symphonic band utilized a cyclic emotions approach to the sounds they produced. It was started first with sonata followed by a trio and finally, Allegro, which I found totally pleasing for reminiscing and contemplating (BBC, 2018). Although, the musical performance aimed to deal with life lessons, the production became too particular with the constant flow of emotions from infancy to adulthood. As

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