The article questions the value and use of the concept of cultural performance. The author focuses initially on the parallelisms between the instruments of anthropology and the emphasis on time and space in historical research. He then refers to Marc Bloch's inaugural work on the ceremonials of sacred royalty. He goes on to discuss a few examples where historiography in the second half of the twentieth century has expanded the limits of social history recurring to the concept of cultural performance. At the centre is the debat raised by the famous article of 1984 by Robert Darnton on the cruel revenge, around 1730, taken by the workers of a Paris printing press against the owner's cats. Darnton's analysis has produced concrete achievements and a new shift in the field of research on traditions and identities involved in representational practices.
Guarino, R. (2017). Osservando la performance nel passato. Da I re taumaturghi a Il grande massacro dei gatti. TEATRO E STORIA, 38, 385-398.