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Performances with an element of danger

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Bebe

People naturally have a morbid curiosity which is explained well in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbdMMI6ty0o


This is also applicable to performances. People tend to enjoy performances that have the potential to go wrong. A perceived or actual danger causes our brains to release dopamine and we can't look away.

Examples of this in popular culture include some of the most iconic performances we remember.

I remember being eight years old and watching this performance wondering if Britney was going to get bitten by the dangerous snake she had around her or mauled by the tiger in the cage with her.
 


A fan favourite here, there was a morbid curiosity in this performance. You can hear the gasps in the audience when she starts "bleeding". I remember wondering for a split second if she had been shot when I saw this performance for the first time. This is also similar to Alice Cooper's famed tour performance where it looked like he decapitated himself.

 


P!nk's much acclaimed 2010 grammy performance featured her spinning above the audience with the chance that she could have slipped and fallen

 

Obviously this is not a criteria for a good performance and there are many fantastic performances that are not "exciting" in this way but I was thinking about the things I find interesting in a performance. Skills and talent as well as some unique look or some variety are the main factors, but I find myself bored with a lot of the average "sing and dance" routines of late.

Can you think of any other performances that fit the criteria of appealing to our morbid curiosity? It's pretty common in film and other forms of media.

Would you like to see more performances that have an element of perceived or actual danger in them?

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Stephen

3 incredible immaculate performances :legend:

gaga should do something dangerous again for lg5

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Thomas P

3 of my all time favs!!!!

Bryoncé, Lorde, Rihanna, Arianna, SZA, and the list goes on

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DrewStevens

Tbh the snake was in more danger than Britney. It was probably highly sedated.

But anyway P!nk slays

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theARTVampire

At 2:42 and 3:37

it's not that high though, but I was scared that she would fall...

Also the guillotines from the Germany's Next Topmodel Performance

712B16F9-6A61-4CC8-B218-F8909FA3A7E2.jpg

 

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VenusBlackStar

Maybe when Gaga had the sparks shooting out of her T & V. I always wondered how much of a risk there would have been for some stray sparks to hurt her or to light her weave on fire.

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Bebe

Tbh the snake was in more danger than Britney. It was probably highly sedated.

But anyway P!nk slays

I agree, but it was a perceived risk none the less. Most people have some fear towards snakes and it would have triggered the dopamine system.

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sarahb

I'd love more of these types of performances, it's probably why I love watching P!nk so much. And why I was really excited for Gaga's space performance. (obviously the risk is too high for that at the moment though)

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DrewStevens

I agree, but it was a perceived risk none the less. Most people have some fear towards snakes and it would have triggered the dopamine system.

Well all performances are risky at some point but I don't think it was very dangerous compared with a normal performance with fire, acrobatics, water or heights. 

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Stephen

Watching that pink performance makes me want to cry, every single time. 

We need more real artists like her and Gaga.

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monsterdreams

Pink is soooo underrated in the music world

Haters gonna need more than a flashlight for my shade

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Yanko

nickis vma performance

a snake bit the dancer :fat:

 

i love all of these performances :giveup:  

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RebeldeFaith

This performance was pretty dangerous too:

 

 

 

 

:neyde:

I guess this count as a signature, right?

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Bebe

Well all performances are risky at some point but I don't think it was very dangerous compared with a normal performance with fire, acrobatics, water or heights. 

I don't think all performances are risky, at least not to a level of danger. You might sprain an ankle doing choreography but nobody is in any serious danger or risking any life threatening injury.
 

Once again, I'd say we are not just talking about actual risk but perceived risk. Gaga's Paparazzi performance wasn't really dangerous, the blood was fake, but when the blood started spilling down her it made it seem as if she had somehow been injured. There was a perceived danger, even for a split second, that she was seriously hurt.

The snake in Britney's performance was probably not going to hurt her, but she was handling an animal that we are primed to think of as dangerous. You don't touch snakes, they can bite and they can be venomous, you don't walk in tall grass for fear of stepping on a snake.

So no in reality, Britney wasn't really in any danger of being mauled by the tiger or getting bitten by the snake, but there is still an element of perceived danger when you see her performing with real "wild" "dangerous" animals like a tiger and a snake even if you understand on an intellectual level that the snake is not likely to bite.

Subconsciously people associate snakes with venom and danger, people associate blood with injury and death, people associate heights with the risk of falling.

The truth is the snake wouldn't have bitten or killed Brit, Gaga was not actually bleeding and Pink was trained to perform the acrobatics she performed. The actual risk was nowhere near the subconscious perceived risk. 

 

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