Sociology of a Crowd

Tides of people follow social norms of respectful admiration after La Sylphide ballet performance at the Arts Centre Melbourne Australia. There are certain times during a ballet when you’re supposed to clap and not necessarily after a long pause in the music. Later people chat happily. Compare this to a different music gig (for example at the iconic Corner Hotel in Richmond) where the mood is boisterous and where people shout and dance during and after the show. This is an example of cultural capital.

Attending a classical show demands different behaviour because of an historical class distinction between “high art” and “low art.” The history of Australian ballet itself is a fascinating cultural tale, as it was not always well regarded. Australians were initially conservative and skeptical of this revolutionary art-form from France. The ballet tonight was absolutely beautiful.


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