When was the last time you enjoyed a live performance? Given the current global restrictions, it’s probably been longer than a year.
Although performing arts have moved online – from Hamilton streaming endlessly on Disney+ to intimate concerts from artists’ living rooms – supporting live performances will be critically important, once it is safe to do so.
Here are four reasons why:
1 ) For Engagement
Going to a live performance is an engaging process: What will you wear? Who will you go with? Will you go with your children? Who will babysit? How will you get there? Planning your experience adds to the excitement and anticipation of a performance in a way that typically isn’t recreated when watching from your couch.
2) For Sensory Stimulation
Watching a live performance stimulates your senses unlike a pre-recorded or streamed performance. You can see, hear, smell and feel so much more than just watching at home. You can see who else is in the audience, hear the real volume of applause, smell the food at the concession stand, and feel the texture of the seats and the paper program in your hand.
3) For Connection
Live performances remind us that we are not alone. Not only are we sharing a space and an experience with the artists who are performing, we are also sharing the experience with fellow audience members. Despite virtual watch parties and live commentary from online audiences, digital performances still don’t give us the same sense of participation as live, in-person events do.
4) For Economic Support
Artists such as dancers, singers, and musicians do what they do because they are passionate about their art, yes; but they also need to make a living and be compensated for their work. And, it’s easy to forget that for every performer you see on stage, there are at least four or five more people behind the scenes who also work to make the show happen, from set designers and makeup artists to marketing coordinators and administrative assistants. If you enjoy live performances and want to see them continue, make sure to show your support by buying tickets and filling seats.
While it’s true that unique theatrical, musical, and artistic experiences have emerged from our current restricted environments, it is also true that the feelings and memories created by attending a live performance simply cannot be replaced. The next time you have a chance to attend a performing arts presentation, seize the opportunity to support, connect, and engage.