What Are the 6 Performing Arts?

Paula Pipitone

April 13, 2023


Performing arts are a range of creative activities that involve using facial expressions, voice, and body language to communicate a creative fabrication. They include theater, musical theater, dance, music, acting, magic, and circus acts.

Acting is a type of performance art that involves impersonating a character with different faces, pronunciations, and body movements. This reveals the characters’ various emotions and intentions.


The theater is a collaborative form of performing arts that uses live performers to present an experience to an audience. The performers communicate this experience through combinations of gesture, speech, music, or dance.

The word “theatre” comes from the Greek verb theasthai, meaning to behold. It is used to describe a specific place that hosts performances like plays, musicals, and even movies.

Theatrical productions entail an entire world of technical design. This includes a scenic or set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, and sound designer. It also involves a stage manager, production manager, and technical director.


Music is the art of arranging sounds to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, or rhythm. It is one of the most widely used and popular forms of expressive art and has been a core component of human societies throughout history.

It is performed by musicians, who may be soloists, bands, or orchestras. Depending on the style of music, performers can change the phrasing or tempo of songs and pieces. They can also add effects like vibrato (with voice), dynamics (the loudness or softness of a piece or a section), tempo fluctuations, and other musical expressions such as pauses or fermatas.


The dance consists of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. It has been an important part of ceremonies, rituals, celebrations, and entertainment since the earliest human civilizations.

Dancing is a powerful way to express aesthetic ideas and emotions, release energy, connect with others, or just enjoy the feel of movement. However, it is also important to be aware that the definition of dance varies widely across cultures and history.


Acting is the art of bringing characters to life in order to engage audiences. It can be performed on stage or in front of the camera and can involve a wide range of skill sets, from emotional facility to vocal projection.

Some actors may also dabble in other performing arts, including dance and music. This varies depending on the actor’s specialty and career goals.

Many actors train at length in specialist programs and colleges to develop a range of skills such as imagination, emotional facility, physical expressivity, vocal projection, and the ability to interpret drama. They may also have training in dialects, accents, improvisation, observation and emulation, mime, and stage combat.


Magic is an intellectual performing art in which the artist convinces an audience that they have witnessed seemingly impossible feats using natural means. It is performed in many forms, from stage illusions to close-up or pickpocket magicians.

The art of magic involves a lot of skill, manual dexterity, and careful planning. It also relies on the fact that humans tend to remember events in a different way from how they actually happened.

Modern magic is primarily a form of entertainment, though some magicians use it for occult or magical purposes. It entails a range of techniques, including vanishes, productions, penetrations, and teleportation. It also includes mentalism, which aims to fool an audience into thinking that the magician can read their mind.


A circus is an art form that entails performing different acts in front of live audiences. It requires creativity, artistry, confidence, and stage presence.

It also requires flexibility and resilience, as you may be required to perform in different environments and situations. For example, you might need to travel from place to place when the circus is touring.

Circus performers also need to be fit and in shape, as they might need to do acrobatics or other difficult feats. These acts can take months of training before they are physically safe to do.