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Why watch live performances?

Asharah wrote a great interesting post, titled:
Live! On Stage! (Or, why don’t you stop recording and just watch the show?)
It is about how so many people in the crowd are busy in recording the show instead of enjoying it. I’m happy to say that I never used my smartphone to video a performance. But it still made me think. Here are a few of my associations:


1. The “Aura”

In his 1936 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” German cultural critic Walter Benjamin, first introduced this idea:


When I was 13, I visited the Louvre museum and saw the original Mona Lisa. I was actually a bit disappointed because it was so small. I didn’t see or feel any aura. But you know what, I think that now, almost 24 years later, I would have.

2. The real thrill

Here is a recent event from the news: Aerialist Nik Wallenda completed a tightrope walk that took him a quarter mile over the Grand Canyon, on June 23, 2013 . Now, watch the video. After you’ve watched the video, imagine you are there, on the edge of the gorge, while this extreme circus act is happening. Sense the breeze, hear the rope squeak. Do you feel the thrill, the excitement? Do you feel the difference it makes when you watch something live?

3. Mindfullness

Asharah talks about how the audience is busy with recording, knowing they can watch the video later. It’s a pity that we rarely live in the moment. We are busy feeling regret for the past or worry about he future. We look forward to something, and then, when it finally arrives, we are not really present to enjoy it. that’s why I love this simple 10 minutes mindfulness drill, where you experience one raisin with all your senses.  Try it!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Is there an Aura, is it really that different to watch something live, and did you do the raisin drill?

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3 Responses to Why watch live performances?

  1. Sophia Ravenna July 10, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    I don’t want to experience a raisin with any of my senses, I hate them ;)

    But I agree that there is a HUGE difference between seeing a video and seeing the dancer live. Even the best video fails to capture that moment when the dancer seems to be staring right into your eyes. Video can’t duplicate the feeling of zaghareeting along with the rest of the audience at an amazing move. Video doesn’t recreate the sensation of being in the front row and having the performers come RIGHT AT YOU.

    I love watching dance videos but I would never trade it for the experience of actually being there, in the moment.

    • Sharon Mitzy Sheen July 11, 2013 at 4:53 am #

      Don’t worry, Sophia, You can use any other fruit for this drill. But it has to be natural (no chocolate!). And I wish I could zaghareet! I need to learn how to do that.

      • Sophia Ravenna July 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

        No chocolate? HMPH! ;)

        Zaghareeting just takes practice and a total lack of self-consciousness while you learn! When we have Open Stage, my teacher likes to tell people that it’s like “Saying la la la la really fast and really high-pitch.” I recommend practicing at home when no one else is around!

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