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Digital Performance Through Virtual Communication

                          


Are we a part of the online virtual performance? Or are we just a medium of social media? – Do you know we can have online virtual performance? Yes, we can. I will be educating you further on how we can achieve that as you read on. Let us examine what digital performance is all about.


 What is Digital Performance?


As a theatre practitioner and performance scholar, digital performance is an art that creates a connection between humans and technologies through virtual communication and activities. According to Steve Dixion ( a British actor and academician)- "Digital performance broadly includes all performance works where computer technologies play a key role rather than a subsidiary one in content, techniques, aesthetics, or delivery forms. These include; live theatre dance and performance art that incorporates digital projections, created or manipulated-robotic, and virtual reality performances, installations, and theatrical works, that use computer sensing/ activating equipment or telematic techniques. And performative works, and activities that are accessed through the computer screen, including cyber theater events, MUDs, MOOs. And also virtual worlds, computer games, CD-ROMs, and performative net. Artworks.” (P-3).


How to recognize & achieve digital performance in everyday life?


In my early days in digital theatre classes, I had little knowledge on how to, distinguish between theatre and digital performance. We used an electronic system, which uses numbers 1 and 0 to record information, data, sound, and digital video in digital performance. Any performance, that is created by live actors for a live audience, and makes use of scripted language, is known as ''Theatre''. But to understand everyday conversation through virtual media has led me to think about how these tools are organized in a systematic pattern to perform. For instance, when you talk to your friends on a cell phone, search for information on the internet, virtual party with friends, dance and video call, etc. - these activities are what we call digital performance. If you engage in any of these acts, you are achieving digital performance. All of these activities are flexible and easy things we can do at home. Through digital performance, you can organize a virtual party with your friends. Play instruments sing a song and dance. You also get the best chance to record your virtual party video. 


Cons of virtual parties


. Technical voice problems.


. Difficulty in face recognition due to poor networks.


. Scrambled receptions.


. Space problems.


Despite all odds, digital performance still trends and is fast becoming the new normal. These kinds of practices that we are all doing pre and post the pandemic make digital performance relevant.


What is Digital Theatre? 


Example - Surabhi Theatre Group 


IMG-20210530-WA0001(i)IMG-20210530-WA0000(ii)


(PC to Photographer Thiagarajan)


We have at some point in our lives visited Ramleela or Krishan Leela. We have seen how the actors are performing with the digital visuals on screen. And how their voices change by use mike. These digital effects and visuals help adds meaning to define digital theatre. In the above two photos, you can see that the Surabhi theatre group has a long, popular history for its digital effects and tricks. I spoke to one of their member Jayvardhan Surbhi, he explained to me how their tricks are relevant in a digital revolution, which they are using from the 10th generation. He said, “In our Telugu culture, Mahabharata is never old, Ramayana is Ramayana, Geeta always Geeta, we keep modernizing them, we make it new. Surabhi team try to show their play with visual effects, But visual should be seen with proper sitting if you blink your eye during play one effect can be missed”. The effects of lights, music, and curtain, should be administered at the appropriate time and particular space. If something misses out, the desired effects would be lost. It has been proven in mythology plays, that Vishnu entry on wire or fire and rain is hard to show on stage, but the Surabhi theatre group made it possible. This group animated the whole scene and gives effects with lights and visual video. 


Is digital performance beneficial today?


Digital media has changed our lifestyle completely. Now we can talk with different people from around the world. It has both good and bad sides depends on how you choose to manage it.


Pros:


. Easy access to virtual performance through buying tickets online.


. There is no need to hire rehearsal space to perform.


. It can be performed from anywhere globally. 


. Less fund is spent on travel and food.


. Each performed is viewed from across the world and at the same time on a digital platform.


Cons:


. We cannot enjoy the physical presence of a person.


. We have to spend a lot of time on digital media, which affects our health especially, our eyes.


. We lose our social skills due to the number of times spent online.


 .The body becomes an object among properties, lights, and visuals. 


From March 2020, we can see most of the people are surviving by working online. Some people use this platform to run their businesses and boost their dilapidated financial circumstances. We can understand that people who live in tribal and rural areas do not have internet access. So, social media and digital platforms are limited to a particular audience and people. Nevertheless, we should not forget that digital media have changed many people's lives positively. Most of the people now have access to show their talent and run their job. Students don't need to pressure their parents or friends to follow their dreams, they can easily advertise it using social media. Students can also apply for many competitions, opportunities, and vacancies related to their field. They can get updates for scholarships and fellowships. It is no news that social media platforms offer motivations and inspiration for aspirants, and these activities enable us to achieve digital performance in our everyday lifestyle. 


You can see that we are all digital performers.


Reference:


Dixon, Steve. (2007) ‘Digital Performance: A history of new media in theatre, dance, Performance art, and installation’, The MIT Press 55 Hayward Street.


 


Tags: #socialmedia #digital #theatre #performance #digitalmedia #digitalperformance theatre #digitalization


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2 comments

2 weeks, 3 days ago by [email protected]

A well written article. Proper words are used to explain the digital performance through virtual communication and its pros and cons. Keep it up😊


2 weeks, 3 days ago by Vibhakar0.

Really very good article has been written .. Best of all, both the advantages and disadvantages are mentioned in the article.



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