Cultural Event Review Guides
Yes, there are two. One guides you in considering a work of art or an evening's performance so that you are analyzing the work's form and content and offering informed conjecture about the meaning of the work. This first style is a critical review. The second style of review is one that uses the event as a way to reveal the culture in attendance. The second style is a cultural review through the lens of an event. Regardless of which style you choose, the purpose of reviewing a cultural event in the context of this course is to use that event to reconsider this course. How has your experience of this event been influenced by your encounter in this course?
This review style is particularly useful if you have chosen to focus on an event that adheres to the concept of Culture supported by the dominant culture—opera, play, symphony, musical, poetry reading, concert. In this part of the world, Shindig On the Green would also fall into this category. Following the event, you will compose your reaction to the event using the considerations for critical feedback below. You need not address all twenty questions, but you will be expected to write clearly, using your own voice, and present a coherent description (likely involving some comparison and contrast among works shown in the program), substantiating your point of view with reference to personal experience and outside sources. Two-three typed pages to develop your ideas in depth.
Some Considerations for Critical Feedback
The following questions were developed by Linda Burnham, Founder of High Performance Magazine, Co-Director of Art in the Public Interest, Saxaphaw, NC.
This review style is particularly useful if you have chosen to focus on an event that does not adhere to the concept of Culture supported by the dominant culture. In this format, you are reviewing the aesthetic aspects of an event which would not be traditionally labeled a “cultural event” by Western European theatrical conventions but which, by virtue of its usefulness in reaffirming the values and ideals of a particular culture, is truly a “cultural event”. You are reviewing the culture through your review of the event, rather than reviewing the content of the event itself.
A performance by a notable symphony orchestra is a “cultural event” because it reinforces the needs, values and interests of a particular culture. If you attend a performance by the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, you will find that “culture” to be primarily middle and upper middle class people of European descent. Attendance at such an event satisfies the souls of the attendants by adhering to convention of decorum, audience-performer relationships, length of program, architecture, predictable sonority, manner of interaction with other attendees, dress, etc.
I ask you to seek out an event that is outside the conventional European-based notion of a cultural event.
Age, racial composition, socio-economic make-up, shared values, etc.
How are art, drama, music, architecture, poetry, and dance (all must be addressed) part of this event?
Please note, you will not be reviewing the event as you would if you were writing a critique, or a column. Instead, you will be analyzing the ways that the so-called “peripheral” elements support the overall cultural goals of the event. You’ll need to get out of the Western civ’ box in looking for evidence of these art forms. Graffiti might be art, an umpire might be a leading man, the private language of rock workers might be the poetry, etc.
Please submit your work typed, edited and spell-checked.
Two- or three-page minimum to go in-depth.