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Types of Performing Arts

The performing arts are a division of art that includes any creative endeavor where the artist uses an aspect of their physical being, such as their body or voice, as the presentation medium in front of an audience. Dance, theater, opera, music, magic, circus skill and puppetry are all considered types of performing arts. The seven types of performing arts can be further categorized based on the genre of their presentation. Genres include drama, tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy, romance, epic, lyric and satire.


The performing arts have been a part of human culture for thousands of years, with ancient cultures such as the Romans refining many types of performance, such as theater and dance.


One of the controversial aspects of every type of performance art is what exactly defines it, as aesthetic taste and perspective vary not only by culture but also by individual preference.

Hybrid Types

In addition to the strictly outlined seven types of performance art, there are many hybrid types that combine one or more aspects of the originals. For example, Broadway musicals are a combination of theater, music and dance.


The root of many types of performance art, including dance, music and theater, can be traced back to the religious ceremonies of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.

Fun Fact

Cinema is arguably the most widely observed type of performance art in the world.

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