When is art too provocative? How far can it go before it "goes too far"? While part of The Kentucky Center's mission is "to challenge, stimulate and entertain," people's personal thresholds for challenge and stimulation can be risky things to gauge and treacherous to cross.
A case in point is the appearance last season of the Wau Wau Sisters. The neo-Vaudeville, borderline-burlesque production featured two women in playfully risqué vignettes that included twirling together on a trapeze, singing "dirty" Country Western songs, and performing gymnastic routines to the song "Sister Christian." If none of this sounds particularly provocative, you can sample some of the sister's antics on YouTube and be properly provoked there. The typical Center patron, however, might be excused for believing that such a performance is not exactly mainstream entertainment.
Defining what constitutes "art" is, of course, an age-old conundrum, and the answer might best be left to each individual to decide. One person's comic genius is another's smut-monger, as the legal wars waged against Lenny Bruce and George Carlin can attest. So the Center will continue its mission to challenge and stimulate, as it entertains. And perhaps, with such an eclectic array of acts and artists to choose from, both within and outside of the mainstream of art, more and more patrons will elect to challenge and expand their own artistic horizons, and redraw that line that defines the edge of provocative art.
What do you think? How far should the arts go in presenting provocative, mature material? Should The Kentucky Center be a temple of the classic arts or a laboratory of artistic experimentation?
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