Performing arts course, importance, types, career and schools

Do you have a passion for live entertaining audiences? Do you dance, act, do comedy or other live entertainment? Then performing art is the right course for you to pursue. The course entails learning about those different aspects of live entertainment although they can be recorded and played later as video or audio.

Performing art courses and career deals with interpreting music and dance, performing in a production, auditing for roles, and teaching music. Other activities are, working with actors and directing events, promoting different art, interpreting scripts, and performing in a live audience among others.

Performing art is a wide field that entails live or recorded performances for an audience’s entertainment. Some examples of performing arts are music, dance, comedy, magic, acting, and playing instruments among others.

Importance of performing art

Most of the arts are produced for entertainment purposes. Another importance of art is to educate the community in a manner that they can relate to the character in the acting. Art can also be used by activists to pass across the message in a manner that is not offensive to the opposing side.

Using art such as music, acting, or dance the community can be educated on contemporary and pertinent issues that affect them such as Covid 19, HIV/AIDS, Social media influence, and economic issues among others.

Use of comedy can be used in a satirical manner to criticize the government or authority for what they are doing badly without a confrontation.

Key skills needed to be successful in performing arts.

Passion: The field is involving and requires a lot of practice to perfect the art. This means it requires someone who can dedicate the time for the work needed.

Talent: we have some people who are talented in performing in different categories of art. If you are one then the field will be perfect for you. However, talent requires dedication to achieve the best.

Effective communication skills: when performing you will be required to communicate to the audience using verbal and non-verbal methods. This means communication skills are a must for this course.

Creativity: Art is all about being creative to capture and maintain audience attention as long as possible. If you are not creative to generate something unique and entertaining the audience will get bored.

Confidence and eloquence during presentation: to stand before an audience and present you need to be confident in what you are doing and eloquent enough to communicate the message.

Types of Performing Arts

There are different categories or paths that a student can specialize in in the field the main types of performing arts are:

  1. Theater: it involves a live performance for the audience. Theater art deals with setting the stage, costumes, lighting, and script writing among others.
  2. Music: this can be done live or recorded either as audio or video. It involves composition, performance, recording, and production of sound patterns.
  3. Acting: it involves portraying a specific character by using emotions, sound variation, and other aspects to bring out a story or a character.
  4. Dancing: it is an artistic expression that involves movements and rhythm that are choreographed in a specific way.
  5. Magicians: the art involves the art of performing illusions and tricks to amaze and surprise the audience.
  6. Comedy: the art involves the creation and performance of humorous content to entertain and elicit laughter from an audience.

Best performing art school in Kenya

In Kenya, the course is offered at Diploma and degree levels and for different specializations. The best-performing art universities and colleges in Kenya are.

  1. University of Nairobi
  2. KCA University
  3. Kenyatta University
  4. Maseno University
  5. Technical University of Kenya
  6. Buruburu Institute of Fine Art (BIFA)
  7. Nairobi Insitute of Music and Performing Arts (NIMPA)

Units in a performing art course

When pursuing a course in performing art either at a craft, diploma, or degree level these are some of the units or areas that you can expect to cover. Please note the units depend on the institute, the level of study, and the area of specialization. Some of the areas covered are:

  1. Theatre and film history
  2. The Art of Story-Telling
  3. Dance Skills
  4. Film Genres
  5. Acting for TV and Film
  6. Fundamentals of Film Making
  7. Stage Acting
  8. Playwrighting
  9. Stage Directing
  10. Film Theory and Criticism
  11. Screenwriting
  12. Film Directing
  13. Psychodrama
  14. Video Camera Operations
  15. Documentary and Non-Fiction Film
  16. Radio Broadcasting Techniques
  17. Costume Design & Make up
  18. Entertainment Law and Ethics
  19. Animation
  20. Audio-Video Editing
  21. Film Scoring
  22. Computer Graphics in Film
  23. Theatre Arts Option
  24. Stage Craft
  25. Puppet Theatre
  26. Drama Therapy
  27. Dance Choreography
  28. Lighting in Production
  29. Sound in Production
  30. Film for Development
  31. Adjudicating Film
  32. Visual Effects
  33. Cinematography
  34. Scenic Fabrication and Installation
  35. Stage Performance
  36. Adjudicating Drama and Theatre
  37. Radio Theatre
  38. Lighting in Theatre Production
  39. Sound in Theatre Production
  40. Costume Construction and Wardrobe Management

Career prospects in performing arts

When a student pursues performing art at any level they can major in different genres of the field. Some of the performing arts careers are:

  1. Musician
  2. Dancer
  3. Vocalist
  4. Comedian
  5. Instrumentalist
  6. Actor/actress
  7. Video producer
  8. Voice-over producer/actor
  9. Movie director
  10. Choreographer
  11. Directors
  12. Stage manager
  13. Custom designers
  14. Makeup artist
  15. Entertainment manager
  16. Composer etc