The arts

Things which generally come under the heading of ‘the arts’

We often also include architecture and ceramics within the arts.
The arts (plural) covers everything in the network. Art (singular, uncountable) usually means fine art, but can also refer to technique and creativity.

Have you read the arts page in The Times today? [that part of the paper that deals with all the things in the network]
– She’s a great art lover. [loves painting and sculpture]
– Shakespeare was skilled in the art of poetry. [creative ability]

Dance usually refers to modern artistic dance forms; ballet usually has a more traditional feel, unless we say modern ballet. Remember: a novel is a long story, e.g. 200-300 pages; a short prose fiction, e.g. 10 pages, is a short story.

Use of the definite article

When we refer to a performing art in general, we can leave out the article.
– Are you interested in (the) cinema/ballet/opera/theatre?
– Would you like to come to the cinema/ballet/opera/theatre with us next week.
[particular performance]

Describing a performance

We went to see a new production of Hamlet last night. The sets (1) were incredibly realistic and the costumes (2) were wonderful. It was a good cast (3) and I thought the direction (4) was excellent. Anthony O’Donnell gave a marvellous performance (5). It got rave reviews (6) in the papers today.

(1) scenery, buildings, furniture on the stage or in a studio
(2) clothes the actors wear on stage
(3) all the actors in it
(4) the way the director had organised the performance
(5) and (6) note these typical collocations; (6) means ‘got very enthusiastic comments’

Words connected with events in the arts

– There’s an exhibition (Am. Eng.: exhibit) of paintings by Manet on in London.
– They’re going to publish a new edition of the works of Cervantes next year.
– The Opera Society are doing a performance of Don Giovanni.
– Our local cinema’s showing Bergman’s Persona next week.

Note: What’s on at the cinema/theatre, etc. next week?