Monday, August 23, 2010

Theater of the Spontaneous Orders

In my paper on The Spontaneous Orders of the Arts, I quote Russell Berman as saying

Dramatic literature, in its convening of the community, tends toward decisive activism, while the novel, with its focus on individual interiority among a polyphony of characters and addressed to the private reader, tends toward a dispersion of power. The former resonates with democracy per se, the mobilized public, the latter with liberalism and the lives of individuals. (164)

Now take this idea and combine it with this insight from Scott Atran and Joseph Heinrich in "The Evolution of Religion", that we one can collectively engage "emotions and motivations using music, rhythm, and synchrony" (Biological Theory 5(1) 2010, 23). More, synchrony results in strangers being more likely to cooperate "by strengthening social bonds among group members" and all three contribute to the instilling of "committment and trust" (23). In other words, drama would be even more effective in the way Berman suggests if it included rhythmic poetry, music, and dance. It is perhaps no coincidence that ancient Greek tragedy involved all of these elements.

Now, I supposed that one could object that opera includes music and poetry/songs. And many musicals include all three. But how many musicals are indeed serious? And who sees contemporary opera?

What kind of theater could create the feeling of integration into the social spontaneous orders?
Post a Comment