The cries of liberty, equality, and fraternity were the pillars of the 1789 French Revolution. Those words became the litmus test for the social, political, economic and religious reforms that changed France forever. Performing arts around the world face similar circumstances and the Tuxedo Revolt wants to lead the charge for a revolution in the arts world with a new motto: Liberty, Equality, and Creativity.
In the rapid changes brought forth by the millennium 12 years ago, the world is seeing transformation across the board in politics, economics, environment, and social structure. Technological advancements like the iPhone and Facebook have completely altered the way humans communicate and relate to one another. The arts are in no way insulated from these changes, in fact, they are impacted more directly than any other one area of the humanities.
Throughout recorded history, we have relied on man’s artistic achievements to capture the spirit of the times. It is a culture’s art, song, dance, and creative legacy that tell us how it felt to be alive and a part of a particular culture in a certain time. You probably already know this. In fact you already participate in the performing arts. It doesn’t matter whether you are creating art to be performed, performing art yourself, buying song’s on iTunes of someone else performing, listening to the radio in your car, watching TV, buying movie tickets— the choices you make that relate to creativity and performance are helping to shape the way that the future will view our time now. Everyone is part of the process, some consciously and some unconsciously.
My mission with Tuxedo Revolt includes empowering anyone who is involved in performing with resources to enrich their work and help them to reach the widest audience possible and with the maximum amount of relevancy. Just like in France in 1789, when the feudal system had become dysfunctional and irrelevant, so too are many of the norms and standards surrounding the performing arts that restrain and confine us to perform at the status quo.
In the culture we live today, we have unprecedented liberties when it comes to distributing our art. Through outlets like, YouTube, vimeo, personal websites and other electronic resources, we can truly perform for the world. As performing artists, we cannot afford to neglect the opportunities these resources have to offer. We are no longer confined within a geographic area to build our audiences or to wait for institutions and “experts” to give us the green light to go. With hard work and strategic planning, we can expand our reach across oceans and continents.
The fluctuating economy, the rise of the middle class, and the flood of electronic media resources since the millennium have (almost) completely leveled the playing field for performers of all types. This, in many ways, is a double-edged sword—for every coin has two sides. But for better or worse, there is an unprecedented equality when it comes to the market for your performance. The Internet not only leveled the playing field, but also greatly enlarged it as well. The days of a few major record companies and large performing arts organizations completely dictating the market are over. Let me be clear, “market” in this context is about the “market” for the commodity of audience. There is simply more content out there for people to choose from, making everyone from the freelance performer all the way up to the largest organizations work harder to get your attention—and hold it. The “holding” holding of your attention is a key component of Tuxedo Revolt and it involves creativity and imagination.
This is single largest platform for building a revolution in the performing arts. Humankind has always been creative. That is part of the human nature. But the exquisite ability to express our inner nature and relate to others is a gift waiting to be used and unlocked. The millennium brought with it a need for self-expression unlike anything we have every seen in human history. Everyone is telling their story on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Pinterest etc. There has never been more material available for performing artists to draw upon and to be inspired by. There are new pathways to create highly original work and to authentic living. This goes beyond performing artists and extends to everyone, globally.
Music, Art, Dance and Culture, can harness the emotional power prevalent in today’s global societies and turn it into deeply moving performances. By doing this, we can create and/or recreate works of art that are relevant to the modern audience. The possibilities are endless, but the Tuxedo Revolt Blog will attempt to chronicle them.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned.
- Community of Revolutionaries (tuxedorevoltblog.wordpress.com)
- What Do People Read During a Revolution? (digitalincunabulum.com)