I was walking in to my local Brighton shopping centre when I saw a large crowd gathered. I got a tad excited and went to see what all the fuss was about. I was disappointed when I saw a person dressed in a shoddy monkey suit playing on a tatty drum kit, with a good amount of change in his hat. This monkey was out to entertain and it seemed that he was successful...
This got me thinking about the word ‘entertainment’.
It is a loaded word, I associate it with negativity as for me it immediately means something with no depth. Adverts for musicals on the underground that say 'Highly Entertaining' and the genre of 'light entertainment' which covers the likes of The Generation Game!
However, isn't the main purpose of all performance to entertain? Are there different levels of entertainment?
I recently saw 'In-I' at the National Theatre, I found it enjoyable but I wouldn't use the word entertaining. But what's the differeince between being entertained and enjoying somthing? I think I also associate that word with comedy. There are lots of these loaded words, like 'experimental' and 'fringe' and these are often linked with being serious or pretentious (I hate that word). Do people call these types of performance entertaining?
Was this crowd entertained by the performing monkey? Were they just following the crowd? Am I generalising horribly? Or am I just asking too many questions?
I saw Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, a highly intense performance where the dancers were literally hurting themselves in aid of the intricate and fierce choreograpy. This peice got to me, inside my stomach, the endurance of the dancers was gut wrenching. Was I entertained? Is this different classification of enjoyment?