Recital vs Performance


The Rich IMG family has supported the arts since our inception through our patronage, marketing assistance, or gifting of business strategy. When speaking to other patrons we are often asked, “Is this a ‘recital’ or a ‘performance’, what’s the difference?

Merriam-Webster provides the below definitions:

noun re·cit·al \ri-ˈsī-təl\
Simple Definition of recital

: a dance or musical performance

: the act of reading something out loud or saying something from memory usually for an audience

: a long description or list that includes many things

noun per·for·mance \pə(r)-ˈfȯr-mən(t)s\
Simple Definition of performance

: an activity (such as singing a song or acting in a play) that a person or group does to entertain an audience

: the way an actor performs a part in a play, movie, etc.

: the act of doing a job, an activity, etc.

Yeah, they aren’t distinctively different when reading their meanings.  From our years within the arts world we found that recitals are a showcase of what students have learned over a period of time.  Although there may be a theme, it is rare to have substance to build a plot or tell a story from from the list of dances or musical pieces that are performed.  Recitals are majorly performed by smaller studios that do not have the necessary funding to display a full performance.

Performances on the other hand, are not only themed, but have a set story line that can be followed either through movement or through the use of language and music.  Performances are pieces that are performed over and over again, are often times branded and resold to be used at other studios.  Great examples of dance performances that have been branded and resold are The Nutcracker,  Snow White, and Firebird.

We’ve attended both types of art showcases – recitals and performances.  Each have their place in the art community and can be used for more than just a one or twice a year showcase for any theater or dance company.

Please send us more questions and “needs to know” and we will do our best to answer them for you!