An Investigation into Taziyeh and Performance Art with an Emphasis on the Audience Interaction
Taziyeh as a ritual performance is an ancient art. Its present form originated during Safavid period and became popular in Qajar era. Taziyeh has often tried to interact with the common audience in order to convey meanings and thus be more effective. This art form is known to be the basis of the principles of contemporary Dramatic and Performing Arts. As a part of New Art, in the late 60s, Performance Art applied philosophy, visual arts, postmodern theories and theatrical elements to convert a static art into a dynamic one, and thus developed the concept of communication and interaction with the audience during the course of time. Therefore the main problem of the research is as following: Is it possible to compare Taziye and Performance Art within the body of Performing Arts and hence ascribe similar functions to both, related to the amount of audience interaction (the amount of communications, the similarities and their overlapping)? Depending on the hypothesis of this article, the two arts are related according to the definition of New Art within the context of the audience participation; it means both are audience-centered. The main purpose of this study is to identify a new approach in the field of Traditional Arts, and the secondary purpose is to accept Taziyeh as a traditional art being parallel to the new art of Performance, on the basis of audience participation features. In spite of the insignificant amount of its followers in Iran, this viewpoint is as old as postmodern history and may expand the perspective of the artists. Therefore, a descriptive analytic method is applied and the information is gathered through library documents. Studying the most common and outstanding characteristics of these two arts, we have concluded that since there exists overlapping and similarities between the two arts in the field of audience interaction and participation, Taziyeh could be considered as Performance Art, and certain other traditional arts as the foundations of New Arts.
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