Thursday, April 5, 2007

First Principles

“Song, story and dance are fundamental to all later ‘civilized’ culture. In archaic times these were unified in dramatic performance, back when drama and religious ceremony were one. They are reunited today in the highest and greatest of performance arts—the grand scale of European opera and ballet, the spare and disciplined elegance of Japanese Noh theater, the grand and almost timeless dance-and-story of Indonesian Gamelan, the wit and hardiness of Bertolt Brecht’s plays, or the fierce and stunningly beautiful intensity of Korean P’ansori performance. Performance is of key importance because this phenomenal world and all life is, of itself, not a book but a performance.”

Gary Snyder
in his new book of essays: Back on the Fire

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