Einstein on the beach – Philip Glass
The enemy of art is the absence of limitations – Orson Welles
Performance art is the expression of political and tropical notions visible to a live audience. Although a species of postmodernist art the definition of performance art is complex to define, the importance of such an art form is the association of the artist himself. For instance, rather than creating an installation of art piece to be viewed by an audience subsequent to his creation, the artist would focus on the assembly of an installation live in front of the audience itself to convey his philosophies and hypotheses of the performance.
In question to this circumstance, performance artist can incorporate any disciplines of art whether it is Dance, Music, Recitation, Mime, Fashion, Theatrical Design, Film, Contortionist, Escapology, Installation as well as more traditional genres like painting, drawing and sculpture.
One of many such rarely performed art of its time, Phillip glass “Einstein on the beach” was designed in a magnificent one shot inventing its context, form an language and further exhausting them to a limit that its further development would be redundant, but also embossing its identity to give permission for much has happened in music theatre since its premiere.
It broke all the rules of opera with staging four interconnected acts holding duration of five long hours with no intermissions; Glass broke all the rules of traditional orchestral arrangements by composing work of the synthesizers, woodwinds and voices by expressing its story in a non narrative form using a series of scenic views and images.
Composer Phillip glass and director Robert Wilson have carefully recounted a collaborative process of these four acts divided by a series of short scenes known as “knee plays” allowing the audience to wander in and out as they delight.
Although named, Einstein on the beach the play only had a violinist Einstein doppelgänger and a mention of a beach to suffice its name; the play served a series of abstractive musical numbers, numerical voices and scenic pauses.
Known for it’s revolutionary change in opera history, the play somewhat ridiculed all American values closing its final monologue with a sentimental paean to love