p. 866. Ritual as performance
- Barry Stephenson
Cross-culturally, ritual typically includes elements commonly associated with performance events: music or rhythmic accompaniment; dance or other stylized bodily movements; and masking, costuming, and makeup. ‘Ritual as performance’ considers performance theory and performance studies and some of the work of significant theorists in these fields: J. L. Austin and Richard Schechner. By looking at the kōan tradition of Zen Buddhism, Schechner's approach to ritual can be better understood. Schechner places performance on a continuum that runs from efficacy to entertainment. The notions of embodiment and inscription in ritual studies are also considered along with the noetic implications of ritual action, such as pilgrimage.