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Psychologists say the function of media entertainment is "the attainment of gratification ". This is in contrast to education which is designed with the purpose of developing understanding or helping people to learn and marketing which aims to encourage people to purchase commercial products.

However, the distinctions become blurred when education seeks to be more "entertaining" and entertainment or marketing seek to be more "educational".

Such mixtures are often known by the neologisms " edutainment " or " infotainment ". The psychology of entertainment as well as of learning has been applied to all these fields.

An entertainment might go beyond gratification and produce some insight in its audience. Entertainment may skillfully consider universal philosophical questions such as: Questions such as these drive many narratives and dramas, whether they are presented in the form of a story, film, play, poem, book, dance, comic, or game.

Dramatic examples include Shakespeare 's influential play Hamlet , whose hero articulates these concerns in poetry ; and films, such as The Matrix , which explores the nature of knowledge [10] and was released world-wide.

Originally a radio comedy , this story became so popular that it has also appeared as a novel, film, television series, stage show, comic, audiobook , LP record , adventure game and online game , its ideas became popular references see Phrases from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and has been translated into many languages.

The "ancient craft of communicating events and experiences, using words, images, sounds and gestures" by telling a story [15] is not only the means by which people passed on their cultural values and traditions and history from one generation to another, it has been an important part of most forms of entertainment ever since the earliest times.

Stories are still told in the early forms, for example, around a fire while camping , or when listening to the stories of another culture as a tourist.

Many types are blended or supported by other forms. For example, drama, stories and banqueting or dining are commonly enhanced by music; sport and games are incorporated into other activities to increase appeal.

Some may have evolved from serious or necessary activities such as running and jumping into competition and then become entertainment.

It is said, for example, that pole vaulting "may have originated in the Netherlands, where people used long poles to vault over wide canals rather than wear out their clogs walking miles to the nearest bridge.

Others maintain that pole vaulting was used in warfare to vault over fortress walls during battle. Vaulting poles, for example, were originally made from woods such as ash , hickory or hazel ; in the 19th century bamboo was used and in the 21st century poles can be made of carbon fibre.

Gladiatorial combats , also known as "gladiatorial games", popular during Roman times, provide a good example of an activity that is a combination of sport, punishment, and entertainment.

Changes to what is regarded as entertainment can occur in response to cultural or historical shifts. Hunting wild animals, for example, was introduced into the Roman Empire from Carthage and became a popular public entertainment and spectacle, supporting an international trade in wild animals.

Entertainment also evolved into different forms and expressions as a result of social upheavals such as wars and revolutions.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution , for example, Revolutionary opera was sanctioned by the Communist party and World War I , the Great Depression and the Russian revolution all affected entertainment.

Relatively minor changes to the form and venue of an entertainment continue to come and go as they are affected by the period, fashion, culture, technology, and economics.

For example, a story told in dramatic form can be presented in an open-air theatre, a music hall , a movie theatre , a multiplex , or as technological possibilities advanced, via a personal electronic device such as a tablet computer.

Entertainment is provided for mass audiences in purpose-built structures such as a theatre , auditorium , or stadium.

New stadia continue to be built to suit the ever more sophisticated requirements of global audiences. Imperial and royal courts have provided training grounds and support for professional entertainers, with different cultures using palaces, castles and forts in different ways.

In the Maya city states , for example, "spectacles often took place in large plazas in front of palaces; the crowds gathered either there or in designated places from which they could watch at a distance.

For example, the durbar was introduced to India by the Mughals , and passed onto the British Empire , which then followed Indian tradition: Court entertainment often moved from being associated with the court to more general use among commoners.

This was the case with "masked dance-dramas" in Korea, which "originated in conjunction with village shaman rituals and eventually became largely an entertainment form for commoners".

Another evolution, similar to that from courtly entertainment to common practice, was the transition from religious ritual to secular entertainment, such as happened during the Goryeo dynasty with the Narye festival.

Originally "solely religious or ritualistic, a secular component was added at the conclusion".

In some courts, such as those during the Byzantine Empire , the genders were segregated among the upper classes, so that "at least before the period of the Komnenoi " — men were separated from women at ceremonies where there was entertainment such as receptions and banquets.

Court ceremonies, palace banquets and the spectacles associated with them, have been used not only to entertain but also to demonstrate wealth and power.

Such events reinforce the relationship between ruler and ruled; between those with power and those without, serving to "dramatise the differences between ordinary families and that of the ruler".

Court entertainments were typically performed for royalty and courtiers as well as "for the pleasure of local and visiting dignitaries".

Courtly entertainments also demonstrate the complex relationship between entertainer and spectator: In the court at the Palace of Versailles , "thousands of courtiers, including men and women who inhabited its apartments, acted as both performers and spectators in daily rituals that reinforced the status hierarchy".

Like court entertainment, royal occasions such as coronations and weddings provided opportunities to entertain both the aristocracy and the people.

For example, the splendid Accession Day celebrations of Queen Elizabeth I offered tournaments and jousting and other events performed "not only before the assembled court, in all their finery, but also before thousands of Londoners eager for a good day's entertainment.

Entry for the day's events at the Tiltyard in Whitehall was set at 12d ". Although most forms of entertainment have evolved and continued over time, some once-popular forms are no longer as acceptable.

For example, during earlier centuries in Europe, watching or participating in the punishment of criminals or social outcasts was an accepted and popular form of entertainment.

Many forms of public humiliation also offered local entertainment in the past. Even capital punishment such as hanging and beheading , offered to the public as a warning, were also regarded partly as entertainment.

Capital punishments that lasted longer, such as stoning and drawing and quartering , afforded a greater public spectacle. Good bourgeois or curious aristocrats who could afford it watched it from a carriage or rented a room.

Children's entertainment is centred on play and is significant for their growth. Entertainment is also provided to children or taught to them by adults and many activities that appeal to them such as puppets , clowns , pantomimes and cartoons are also enjoyed by adults.

Children have always played games. It is accepted that as well as being entertaining, playing games helps children's development.

One of the most famous visual accounts of children's games is a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called Children's Games , painted in It depicts children playing a range of games that presumably were typical of the time.

Many of these games, such as marbles , hide-and-seek , blowing soap bubbles and piggyback riding continue to be played. Most forms of entertainment can be or are modified to suit children's needs and interests.

During the 20th century, starting with the often criticised but nonetheless important work of G. Stanley Hall , who "promoted the link between the study of development and the 'new' laboratory psychology", [42] and especially with the work of Jean Piaget , who "saw cognitive development as being analogous to biological development", [43] it became understood that the psychological development of children occurs in stages and that their capacities differ from adults.

Hence, stories and activities, whether in books, film, or video games were developed specifically for child audiences. Countries have responded to the special needs of children and the rise of digital entertainment by developing systems such as television content rating systems , to guide the public and the entertainment industry.

In the 21st century, as with adult products, much entertainment is available for children on the internet for private use. This constitutes a significant change from earlier times.

The amount of time expended by children indoors on screen-based entertainment and the "remarkable collapse of children's engagement with nature" has drawn criticism for its negative effects on imagination , adult cognition and psychological well-being.

They were an integral part of court entertainments 3 , 4 and helped entertainers develop their skills 2 , 3. They are also important components of celebrations such as coronations 9 , weddings 7 , birthdays 10 civic or political achievements 5 , military engagements or victories 6 as well as religious obligations 1.

In modern times, banquets are commercially available, for example, in restaurants 10 and combined with a performance in dinner theatres.

Cooking by professional chefs has also become a form of entertainment as part of global competitions such as the Bocuse d'Or. Music is a supporting component of many kinds of entertainment and most kinds of performance.

For example, it is used to enhance storytelling, it is indispensable in dance 1 , 4 and opera, and is usually incorporated into dramatic film or theatre productions.

Music is also a universal and popular type of entertainment on its own, constituting an entire performance such as when concerts are given 2 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9.

Depending on the rhythm , instrument , performance and style, music is divided into many genres, such as classical , jazz , folk , 4 , 5 , 8 , rock , pop music 6 , 9 or traditional 1 , 3.

Since the 20th century, performed music, once available only to those who could pay for the performers, has been available cheaply to individuals by the entertainment industry, which broadcasts it or pre-records it for sale.

The wide variety of musical performances, whether or not they are artificially amplified 6 , 7 , 9 , 10 , all provide entertainment irrespective of whether the performance is from soloists 6 , choral 2 or orchestral groups 5 , 8 , or ensemble 3.

Live performances use specialised venues, which might be small or large; indoors or outdoors; free or expensive. The audiences have different expectations of the performers as well as of their own role in the performance.

For example, some audiences expect to listen silently and are entertained by the excellence of the music, its rendition or its interpretation 5 , 8.

Other audiences of live performances are entertained by the ambience and the chance to participate 7 , 9. Even more listeners are entertained by pre-recorded music and listen privately The instruments used in musical entertainment are either solely the human voice 2 , 6 or solely instrumental 1 , 3 or some combination of the two 4 , 5 , 7 , 8.

Whether the performance is given by vocalists or instrumentalists , the performers may be soloists or part of a small or large group, in turn entertaining an audience that might be individual 10 , passing by 3 , small 1 , 2 or large 6 , 7 , 8 , 9.

Singing is generally accompanied by instruments although some forms, notably a cappella and overtone singing , are unaccompanied. Modern concerts often use various special effects and other theatrics to accompany performances of singing and dancing 7.

Games are played for entertainment—sometimes purely for entertainment, sometimes for achievement or reward as well. They can be played alone, in teams, or online; by amateurs or by professionals.

The players may have an audience of non-players, such as when people are entertained by watching a chess championship. On the other hand, players in a game may constitute their own audience as they take their turn to play.

Often, part of the entertainment for children playing a game is deciding who is part of their audience and who is a player. Equipment varies with the game.

Board games , such as Go , Monopoly or backgammon need a board and markers. One of the oldest known board games is Senet , a game played in Ancient Egypt, enjoyed by the pharaoh Tutankhamun.

For these games, all that is needed is a deck of playing cards. Other games, such as bingo , played with numerous strangers, have been organised to involve the participation of non-players via gambling.

Many are geared for children , and can be played outdoors, including hopscotch , hide and seek , or Blind man's bluff. The list of ball games is quite extensive.

It includes, for example, croquet , lawn bowling and paintball as well as many sports using various forms of balls.

The options cater to a wide range of skill and fitness levels. Physical games can develop agility and competence in motor skills. Number games such as Sudoku and puzzle games like the Rubik's cube can develop mental prowess.

Video games are played using a controller to create results on a screen. They can also be played online with participants joining in remotely.

In the second half of the 20th century and in the 21st century the number of such games increased enormously, providing a wide variety of entertainment to players around the world.

Reading has been a source of entertainment for a very long time, especially when other forms, such as performance entertainments, were or are either unavailable or too costly.

Even when the primary purpose of the writing is to inform or instruct, reading is well known for its capacity to distract from everyday worries.

Both stories and information have been passed on through the tradition of orality and oral traditions survive in the form of performance poetry for example.

However, they have drastically declined. Furthermore, as fonts were standardised and texts became clearer, "reading ceased being a painful process of decipherment and became an act of pure pleasure".

Among literature 's many genres are some designed, in whole or in part, purely for entertainment. Limericks , for example, use verse in a strict, predictable rhyme and rhythm to create humour and to amuse an audience of listeners or readers.

Interactive books such as " choose your own adventure " can make literary entertainment more participatory. Comics and cartoons are literary genres that use drawings or graphics, usually in combination with text, to convey an entertaining narrative.

Others have unique authors who offer a more personal, philosophical view of the world and the problems people face.

Comics about superheroes such as Superman are of the first type. Schulz [58] who produced a popular comic called Peanuts [59] about the relationships among a cast of child characters; [60] and Michael Leunig who entertains by producing whimsical cartoons that also incorporate social criticism.

The Japanese Manga style differs from the western approach in that it encompasses a wide range of genres and themes for a readership of all ages.

Caricature uses a kind of graphic entertainment for purposes ranging from merely putting a smile on the viewer's face, to raising social awareness, to highlighting the moral characteristics of a person being caricatured.

Comedy is both a genre of entertainment and a component of it, providing laughter and amusement, whether the comedy is the sole purpose or used as a form of contrast in an otherwise serious piece.

It is a valued contributor to many forms of entertainment, including in literature, theatre, opera, film and games.

This highly structured role of jester consisted of verbal humour, including teasing , jests, insult , ridicule, and obscenity and non-verbal humour such as slapstick and horseplay in the presence of an audience.

Shakespeare wrote seventeen comedies that incorporate many techniques still used by performers and writers of comedy—such as jokes , puns , parody , wit , observational humor , or the unexpected effect of irony.

In farce , the comedy is a primary purpose. The meaning of the word "comedy" and the audience's expectations of it have changed over time and vary according to culture.

However, as cultures become more sophisticated, national nuances appear in the style and references so that what is amusing in one culture may be unintelligible in another.

Live performances before an audience constitute a major form of entertainment, especially before the invention of audio and video recording.

Performance takes a wide range of forms, including theatre, music and drama. In the 16th and 17th centuries, European royal courts presented masques that were complex theatrical entertainments involving dancing, singing and acting.

Opera is a similarly demanding performance style that remains popular. It also encompass all three forms, demanding a high level of musical and dramatic skill, collaboration and like the masque, production expertise as well.

Audiences generally show their appreciation of an entertaining performance with applause. However, all performers run the risk of failing to hold their audience's attention and thus, failing to entertain.

Audience dissatisfaction is often brutally honest and direct. Storytelling is an ancient form of entertainment that has influenced almost all other forms.

It is "not only entertainment, it is also thinking through human conflicts and contradictions". Written stories have been enhanced by illustrations, often to a very high artistic standard, for example, on illuminated manuscripts and on ancient scrolls such as Japanese ones.

Showing how stories are used to pass the time and entertain an audience of travellers, Chaucer used pilgrims in his literary work The Canterbury Tales in the 14th century, as did Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century in Journey to the West.

Even though journeys can now be completed much faster, stories are still told to passengers en route in cars and aeroplanes either orally or delivered by some form of technology.

The power of stories to entertain is evident in one of the most famous ones— Scheherazade —a story in the Persian professional storytelling tradition, of a woman who saves her own life by telling stories.

For example, composers Rimsky-Korsakov , Ravel and Szymanowski have each been inspired by the Scheherazade story and turned it into an orchestral work; director Pasolini made a film adaptation ; and there is an innovative video game based on the tale.

Stories may be told wordlessly, in music, dance or puppetry for example, such as in the Javanese tradition of wayang , in which the performance is accompanied by a gamelan orchestra or the similarly traditional Punch and Judy show.

Epic narratives, poems, sagas and allegories from all cultures tell such gripping tales that they have inspired countless other stories in all forms of entertainment.

Collections of stories, such as Grimms' Fairy Tales or those by Hans Christian Andersen , have been similarly influential.

Originally published in the early 19th century, this collection of folk stories significantly influence modern popular culture, which subsequently used its themes, images, symbols, and structural elements to create new entertainment forms.

Some of the most powerful and long-lasting stories are the foundation stories, also called origin or creation myths such as the Dreamtime myths of the Australian aborigines , the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh , [75] or the Hawaiian stories of the origin of the world.

William Blake 's painting of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Tosa Mitsuoki illustrating her Tale of Genji. Theatre performances, typically dramatic or musical, are presented on a stage for an audience and have a history that goes back to Hellenistic times when "leading musicians and actors" performed widely at "poetical competitions", for example at " Delphi , Delos , Ephesus ".

Aristotle posed questions such as "What is the function of the arts in shaping character? Should a member of the ruling class merely watch performances or be a participant and perform?

What kind of entertainment should be provided for those who do not belong to the elite? Expectations about the performance and their engagement with it have changed over time 1.

Operetta and music halls became available, and new drama theatres such as the Moscow Art Theatre and the Suvorin Theatre in Russia opened.

Plays , [86] musicals , [87] monologues , pantomimes , and performance poetry are part of the very long history of theatre, which is also the venue for the type of performance known as stand-up comedy.

The stage and the spaces set out in front of it for an audience create a theatre. All types of stage are used with all types of seating for the audience, including the impromptu or improvised 2 , 3 , 6 ; the temporary 2 ; the elaborate 9 ; or the traditional and permanent 5 , 7.

They are erected indoors 3 , 5 , 9 or outdoors 2 , 4 , 6. The skill of managing, organising and preparing the stage for a performance is known as stagecraft The audience's experience of the entertainment is affected by their expectations, the stagecraft, the type of stage, and the type and standard of seating provided.

Films are a major form of entertainment, although not all films have entertainment as their primary purpose: The medium was a global business from the beginning: Increasingly sophisticated techniques have been used in the film medium to delight and entertain audiences.

Animation , for example, which involves the display of rapid movement in an art work, is one of these techniques that particularly appeals to younger audiences.

This is similar to the way that the nobility in earlier times could stage private musical performances or the use of domestic theatres in large homes to perform private plays in earlier centuries.

Films also re-imagine entertainment from other forms, turning stories, books and plays, for example, into new entertainments. It demonstrates that while some films, particularly those in the Hollywood tradition that combines "realism and melodramatic romanticism", [97] are intended as a form of escapism , others require a deeper engagement or more thoughtful response from their audiences.

For example, the award winning Senegalese film Xala takes government corruption as its theme. Charlie Chaplin 's film The Great Dictator was a brave and innovative parody, also on a political theme.

The many forms of dance provide entertainment for all age groups and cultures. Dance can be serious in tone, such as when it is used to express a culture's history or important stories; it may be provocative; or it may put in the service of comedy.

Dance is "a form of cultural representation" that involves not just dancers, but " choreographers , audience members, patrons and impresarios For example, in Africa, there are " Dahomean dances, Hausa dances, Masai dances and so forth.

On the other hand, many folk dances such as Scottish Highland dancing and Irish dancing , have evolved into competitions, which by adding to their audiences, has increased their entertainment value.

Since dance is often "associated with the female body and women's experiences", [] female dancers, who dance to entertain, have in some cases been regarded as distinct from "decent" women because they "use their bodies to make a living instead of hiding them as much as possible".

For example, while some cultures regard any dancing by women as "the most shameful form of entertainment", [] other cultures have established venues such as strip clubs where deliberately erotic or sexually provocative dances such as striptease are performed in public by professional women dancers for mostly male audiences.

Various political regimes have sought to control or ban dancing or specific types of dancing, sometimes because of disapproval of the music or clothes associated with it.

Nationalism, authoritarianism and racism have played a part in banning dances or dancing. For example, during the Nazi regime, American dances such as swing , regarded as "completely un-German", had "become a public offense and needed to be banned".

Banning had the effect of making "the dance craze" even greater. Dances can be performed solo 1 , 4 ; in pairs, 2 , 3 ; in groups, 5 , 6 , 7 ; or by massed performers They might be improvised 4 , 8 or highly choreographed 1 , 2 , 5 , 10 ; spontaneous for personal entertainment, such as when children begin dancing for themselves ; a private audience, 4 ; a paying audience 2 ; a world audience 10 ; or an audience interested in a particular dance genre 3 , 5.

They might be a part of a celebration, such as a wedding or New Year 6 , 8 ; or a cultural ritual with a specific purpose, such as a dance by warriors like a haka 7.

Some dances, such as traditional dance in 1 and ballet in 2 , need a very high level of skill and training; others, such as the can-can , require a very high level of energy and physical fitness.

Entertaining the audience is a normal part of dance but its physicality often also produces joy for the dancers themselves 9.

Animals have been used for the purposes of entertainment for millennia. They have been hunted for entertainment as opposed to hunted for food ; displayed while they hunt for prey; watched when they compete with each other; and watched while they perform a trained routine for human amusement.

The Romans, for example, were entertained both by competitions involving wild animals and acts performed by trained animals. They watched as "lions and bears danced to the music of pipes and cymbals ; horses were trained to kneel, bow, dance and prance Animals that perform trained routines or "acts" for human entertainment include fleas in flea circuses , dolphins in dolphinaria , and monkeys doing tricks for an audience on behalf of the player of a street organ.

Animals kept in zoos in ancient times were often kept there for later use in the arena as entertainment or for their entertainment value as exotica.

Its economic impact means that it is also considered a global industry, one in which horses are carefully transported around the world to compete in races.

In Australia, the horse race run on Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday and the public regards the race as an important annual event.

Like horse racing, camel racing requires human riders, while greyhound racing does not. People find it entertaining to watch animals race competitively, whether they are trained, like horses, camels or dogs, or untrained, like cockroaches.

The use of animals for entertainment is often controversial, especially the hunting of wild animals. Some contests between animals, once popular entertainment for the public, have become illegal because of the cruelty involved.

Among these are blood sports such as bear-baiting , dog fighting and cockfighting. Other contests involving animals remain controversial and have both supporters and detractors.

For example, the conflict between opponents of pigeon shooting who view it as "a cruel and moronic exercise in marksmanship, and proponents, who view it as entertainment" has been tested in a court of law.

They both involve animals and are variously regarded as sport, entertainment or cultural tradition. Among the organisations set up to advocate for the rights of animals are some whose concerns include the use of animals for entertainment.

Trained monkey performing for an audience of children — Crowd watches Pharlap win the Melbourne Cup in Australia, A circus , described as "one of the most brazen of entertainment forms", [] is a special type of theatrical performance, involving a variety of physical skills such as acrobatics and juggling and sometimes performing animals.

Usually thought of as a travelling show performed in a big top , circus was first performed in permanent venues. Between the demise of the Roman 'circus' and the foundation of Astley's Amphitheatre in London some years later, the nearest thing to a circus ring was the rough circle formed by the curious onlookers who gathered around the itinerant tumbler or juggler on a village green.

The form of entertainment known as stage magic or conjuring and recognisable as performance, is based on traditions and texts of magical rites and dogmas that have been a part of most cultural traditions since ancient times.

References to magic, for example, can be found in the Bible , in Hermeticism , in Zoroastrianism , in the Kabbalistic tradition, in mysticism and in the sources of Freemasonry.

Stage magic is performed for an audience in a variety of media and locations: It is often combined with other forms of entertainment, such as comedy or music and showmanship is often an essential part of magic performances.

Performance magic relies on deception, psychological manipulation , sleight of hand and other forms of trickery to give an audience the illusion that a performer can achieve the impossible.

Audiences amazed at the stunt performances and escape acts of Harry Houdini , for example, regarded him as a magician.

Fantasy magicians have held an important place in literature for centuries, offering entertainment to millions of readers. Famous wizards such as Merlin in the Arthurian legends have been written about since the 5th and 6th centuries, while in the 21st century, the young wizard Harry Potter became a global entertainment phenomenon when the book series about him sold about million copies as at June , making it the best-selling book series in history.

Street entertainment, street performance or "busking" are forms of performance that have been meeting the public's need for entertainment for centuries.

The art and practice of busking is still celebrated at annual busking festivals. There are three basic forms of contemporary street performance.

The first form is the "circle show". It tends to gather a crowd, usually has a distinct beginning and end, and is done in conjunction with street theatre , puppeteering , magicians , comedians , acrobats, jugglers and sometimes musicians.

This type has the potential to be the most lucrative for the performer because there are likely to be more donations from larger audiences if they are entertained by the act.

Good buskers control the crowd so patrons do not obstruct foot traffic. The second form, the walk-by act , has no distinct beginning or end.

Typically, the busker provides an entertaining ambience, often with an unusual instrument, and the audience may not stop to watch or form a crowd.

Sometimes a walk-by act spontaneously turns into a circle show. This type of act occasionally uses public transport as a venue.

Parades are held for a range of purposes, often more than one. Whether their mood is sombre or festive, being public events that are designed to attract attention and activities that necessarily divert normal traffic, parades have a clear entertainment value to their audiences.

Cavalcades and the modern variant, the motorcade , are examples of public processions. Some people watching the parade or procession may have made a special effort to attend, while others become part of the audience by happenstance.

Whatever their mood or primary purpose, parades attract and entertain people who watch them pass by. Occasionally, a parade takes place in an improvised theatre space such as the Trooping the Colour in 8 and tickets are sold to the physical audience while the global audience participates via broadcast.

They presented conquered peoples and nations that exalted the prestige of the victor. Julius Caesar chose to celebrate four triumphs held on different days extending for about one month.

The annual Lord Mayor's Show in London is an example of a civic parade that has survived since medieval times. Many religious festivals especially those that incorporate processions , such as Holy Week processions or the Indian festival of Holi have some entertainment appeal in addition to their serious purpose.

Sometimes, religious rituals have been adapted or evolved into secular entertainments, or like the Festa del Redentore in Venice, have managed to grow in popularity while holding both secular and sacred purposes in balance.

However, pilgrimages , such as the Christian pilgrimage of the Way of St. James , the Muslim Hajj and the Hindu Kumbh Mela , which may appear to the outsider as an entertaining parade or procession, are not intended as entertainment: Hence, the relationship between spectator and participant, unlike entertainments proper, is different.

Parades generally impress and delight often by including unusual, colourful costumes 7, Sometimes they also commemorate 5 , 8 or celebrate 1 , 4, 6, 8 , 9.

Sometimes they have a serious purpose, such as when the context is military 1 , 2 , 5 , when the intention is sometimes to intimidate; or religious, when the audience might participate or have a role to play 6 , 7, Even if a parade uses new technology and is some distance away 9 , it is likely to have a strong appeal, draw the attention of onlookers and entertain them.

Fireworks are a part of many public entertainments and have retained an enduring popularity since they became a "crowning feature of elaborate celebrations" in the 17th century.

First used in China, classical antiquity and Europe for military purposes, fireworks were most popular in the 18th century and high prices were paid for pyrotechnists , especially the skilled Italian ones, who were summoned to other countries to organise displays.

Birthdays, name-days, weddings and anniversaries provided the occasion for celebration. Aside from their contribution to entertainments related to military successes, courtly displays and personal celebrations, fireworks are also used as part of religious ceremony.

For example, during the Indian Dashavatara Kala of Gomantaka "the temple deity is taken around in a procession with a lot of singing, dancing and display of fireworks".

The "fire, sudden noise and smoke" of fireworks is still a significant part of public celebration and entertainment. For example, fireworks were one of the primary forms of display chosen to celebrate the turn of the millennium around the world.

As the clock struck midnight and became , firework displays and open-air parties greeted the New Year as the time zones changed over to the next century.

Sporting competitions have always provided entertainment for crowds. To distinguish the players from the audience, the latter are often known as spectators.

Developments in stadium and auditorium design, as well as in recording and broadcast technology, have allowed off-site spectators to watch sport, with the result that the size of the audience has grown ever larger and spectator sport has become increasingly popular.

Two of the most popular sports with global appeal are association football and cricket. Their ultimate international competitions, the World Cup and test cricket , are broadcast around the world.

Beyond the very large numbers involved in playing these sports, they are notable for being a major source of entertainment for many millions of non-players worldwide.

Aside from sports that have world-wide appeal and competitions, such as the Olympic Games , the entertainment value of a sport depends on the culture and country where people play it.

For example, in the United States, baseball and basketball games are popular forms of entertainment; in Bhutan, the national sport is archery; in New Zealand, it is rugby union ; in Iran, it is freestyle wrestling.

Japan's unique sumo wrestling contains ritual elements that derive from its long history. The evolution of an activity into a sport and then an entertainment is also affected by the local climate and conditions.

For example, the modern sport of surfing is associated with Hawaii and that of snow skiing probably evolved in Scandinavia. While these sports and the entertainment they offer to spectators have spread around the world, people in the two originating countries remain well known for their prowess.

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Why there might not be another TV blockbuster like 'Game of Thrones'. Although most forms of entertainment have evolved and continued over time, some once-popular forms are no longer as acceptable.

For example, during earlier centuries in Europe, watching or participating in the punishment of criminals or social outcasts was an accepted and popular form of entertainment.

Many forms of public humiliation also offered local entertainment in the past. Even capital punishment such as hanging and beheading , offered to the public as a warning, were also regarded partly as entertainment.

Capital punishments that lasted longer, such as stoning and drawing and quartering , afforded a greater public spectacle.

Good bourgeois or curious aristocrats who could afford it watched it from a carriage or rented a room. Children's entertainment is centred on play and is significant for their growth.

Entertainment is also provided to children or taught to them by adults and many activities that appeal to them such as puppets , clowns , pantomimes and cartoons are also enjoyed by adults.

Children have always played games. It is accepted that as well as being entertaining, playing games helps children's development. One of the most famous visual accounts of children's games is a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called Children's Games , painted in It depicts children playing a range of games that presumably were typical of the time.

Many of these games, such as marbles , hide-and-seek , blowing soap bubbles and piggyback riding continue to be played. Most forms of entertainment can be or are modified to suit children's needs and interests.

During the 20th century, starting with the often criticised but nonetheless important work of G. Stanley Hall , who "promoted the link between the study of development and the 'new' laboratory psychology", [42] and especially with the work of Jean Piaget , who "saw cognitive development as being analogous to biological development", [43] it became understood that the psychological development of children occurs in stages and that their capacities differ from adults.

Hence, stories and activities, whether in books, film, or video games were developed specifically for child audiences. Countries have responded to the special needs of children and the rise of digital entertainment by developing systems such as television content rating systems , to guide the public and the entertainment industry.

In the 21st century, as with adult products, much entertainment is available for children on the internet for private use. This constitutes a significant change from earlier times.

The amount of time expended by children indoors on screen-based entertainment and the "remarkable collapse of children's engagement with nature" has drawn criticism for its negative effects on imagination , adult cognition and psychological well-being.

They were an integral part of court entertainments 3 , 4 and helped entertainers develop their skills 2 , 3. They are also important components of celebrations such as coronations 9 , weddings 7 , birthdays 10 civic or political achievements 5 , military engagements or victories 6 as well as religious obligations 1.

In modern times, banquets are commercially available, for example, in restaurants 10 and combined with a performance in dinner theatres.

Cooking by professional chefs has also become a form of entertainment as part of global competitions such as the Bocuse d'Or. Music is a supporting component of many kinds of entertainment and most kinds of performance.

For example, it is used to enhance storytelling, it is indispensable in dance 1 , 4 and opera, and is usually incorporated into dramatic film or theatre productions.

Music is also a universal and popular type of entertainment on its own, constituting an entire performance such as when concerts are given 2 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9.

Depending on the rhythm , instrument , performance and style, music is divided into many genres, such as classical , jazz , folk , 4 , 5 , 8 , rock , pop music 6 , 9 or traditional 1 , 3.

Since the 20th century, performed music, once available only to those who could pay for the performers, has been available cheaply to individuals by the entertainment industry, which broadcasts it or pre-records it for sale.

The wide variety of musical performances, whether or not they are artificially amplified 6 , 7 , 9 , 10 , all provide entertainment irrespective of whether the performance is from soloists 6 , choral 2 or orchestral groups 5 , 8 , or ensemble 3.

Live performances use specialised venues, which might be small or large; indoors or outdoors; free or expensive. The audiences have different expectations of the performers as well as of their own role in the performance.

For example, some audiences expect to listen silently and are entertained by the excellence of the music, its rendition or its interpretation 5 , 8.

Other audiences of live performances are entertained by the ambience and the chance to participate 7 , 9. Even more listeners are entertained by pre-recorded music and listen privately The instruments used in musical entertainment are either solely the human voice 2 , 6 or solely instrumental 1 , 3 or some combination of the two 4 , 5 , 7 , 8.

Whether the performance is given by vocalists or instrumentalists , the performers may be soloists or part of a small or large group, in turn entertaining an audience that might be individual 10 , passing by 3 , small 1 , 2 or large 6 , 7 , 8 , 9.

Singing is generally accompanied by instruments although some forms, notably a cappella and overtone singing , are unaccompanied.

Modern concerts often use various special effects and other theatrics to accompany performances of singing and dancing 7. Games are played for entertainment—sometimes purely for entertainment, sometimes for achievement or reward as well.

They can be played alone, in teams, or online; by amateurs or by professionals. The players may have an audience of non-players, such as when people are entertained by watching a chess championship.

On the other hand, players in a game may constitute their own audience as they take their turn to play. Often, part of the entertainment for children playing a game is deciding who is part of their audience and who is a player.

Equipment varies with the game. Board games , such as Go , Monopoly or backgammon need a board and markers. One of the oldest known board games is Senet , a game played in Ancient Egypt, enjoyed by the pharaoh Tutankhamun.

For these games, all that is needed is a deck of playing cards. Other games, such as bingo , played with numerous strangers, have been organised to involve the participation of non-players via gambling.

Many are geared for children , and can be played outdoors, including hopscotch , hide and seek , or Blind man's bluff. The list of ball games is quite extensive.

It includes, for example, croquet , lawn bowling and paintball as well as many sports using various forms of balls.

The options cater to a wide range of skill and fitness levels. Physical games can develop agility and competence in motor skills. Number games such as Sudoku and puzzle games like the Rubik's cube can develop mental prowess.

Video games are played using a controller to create results on a screen. They can also be played online with participants joining in remotely.

In the second half of the 20th century and in the 21st century the number of such games increased enormously, providing a wide variety of entertainment to players around the world.

Reading has been a source of entertainment for a very long time, especially when other forms, such as performance entertainments, were or are either unavailable or too costly.

Even when the primary purpose of the writing is to inform or instruct, reading is well known for its capacity to distract from everyday worries.

Both stories and information have been passed on through the tradition of orality and oral traditions survive in the form of performance poetry for example.

However, they have drastically declined. Furthermore, as fonts were standardised and texts became clearer, "reading ceased being a painful process of decipherment and became an act of pure pleasure".

Among literature 's many genres are some designed, in whole or in part, purely for entertainment. Limericks , for example, use verse in a strict, predictable rhyme and rhythm to create humour and to amuse an audience of listeners or readers.

Interactive books such as " choose your own adventure " can make literary entertainment more participatory. Comics and cartoons are literary genres that use drawings or graphics, usually in combination with text, to convey an entertaining narrative.

Others have unique authors who offer a more personal, philosophical view of the world and the problems people face. Comics about superheroes such as Superman are of the first type.

Schulz [58] who produced a popular comic called Peanuts [59] about the relationships among a cast of child characters; [60] and Michael Leunig who entertains by producing whimsical cartoons that also incorporate social criticism.

The Japanese Manga style differs from the western approach in that it encompasses a wide range of genres and themes for a readership of all ages.

Caricature uses a kind of graphic entertainment for purposes ranging from merely putting a smile on the viewer's face, to raising social awareness, to highlighting the moral characteristics of a person being caricatured.

Comedy is both a genre of entertainment and a component of it, providing laughter and amusement, whether the comedy is the sole purpose or used as a form of contrast in an otherwise serious piece.

It is a valued contributor to many forms of entertainment, including in literature, theatre, opera, film and games. This highly structured role of jester consisted of verbal humour, including teasing , jests, insult , ridicule, and obscenity and non-verbal humour such as slapstick and horseplay in the presence of an audience.

Shakespeare wrote seventeen comedies that incorporate many techniques still used by performers and writers of comedy—such as jokes , puns , parody , wit , observational humor , or the unexpected effect of irony.

In farce , the comedy is a primary purpose. The meaning of the word "comedy" and the audience's expectations of it have changed over time and vary according to culture.

However, as cultures become more sophisticated, national nuances appear in the style and references so that what is amusing in one culture may be unintelligible in another.

Live performances before an audience constitute a major form of entertainment, especially before the invention of audio and video recording.

Performance takes a wide range of forms, including theatre, music and drama. In the 16th and 17th centuries, European royal courts presented masques that were complex theatrical entertainments involving dancing, singing and acting.

Opera is a similarly demanding performance style that remains popular. It also encompass all three forms, demanding a high level of musical and dramatic skill, collaboration and like the masque, production expertise as well.

Audiences generally show their appreciation of an entertaining performance with applause. However, all performers run the risk of failing to hold their audience's attention and thus, failing to entertain.

Audience dissatisfaction is often brutally honest and direct. Storytelling is an ancient form of entertainment that has influenced almost all other forms.

It is "not only entertainment, it is also thinking through human conflicts and contradictions". Written stories have been enhanced by illustrations, often to a very high artistic standard, for example, on illuminated manuscripts and on ancient scrolls such as Japanese ones.

Showing how stories are used to pass the time and entertain an audience of travellers, Chaucer used pilgrims in his literary work The Canterbury Tales in the 14th century, as did Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century in Journey to the West.

Even though journeys can now be completed much faster, stories are still told to passengers en route in cars and aeroplanes either orally or delivered by some form of technology.

The power of stories to entertain is evident in one of the most famous ones— Scheherazade —a story in the Persian professional storytelling tradition, of a woman who saves her own life by telling stories.

For example, composers Rimsky-Korsakov , Ravel and Szymanowski have each been inspired by the Scheherazade story and turned it into an orchestral work; director Pasolini made a film adaptation ; and there is an innovative video game based on the tale.

Stories may be told wordlessly, in music, dance or puppetry for example, such as in the Javanese tradition of wayang , in which the performance is accompanied by a gamelan orchestra or the similarly traditional Punch and Judy show.

Epic narratives, poems, sagas and allegories from all cultures tell such gripping tales that they have inspired countless other stories in all forms of entertainment.

Collections of stories, such as Grimms' Fairy Tales or those by Hans Christian Andersen , have been similarly influential.

Originally published in the early 19th century, this collection of folk stories significantly influence modern popular culture, which subsequently used its themes, images, symbols, and structural elements to create new entertainment forms.

Some of the most powerful and long-lasting stories are the foundation stories, also called origin or creation myths such as the Dreamtime myths of the Australian aborigines , the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh , [75] or the Hawaiian stories of the origin of the world.

William Blake 's painting of the pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Tosa Mitsuoki illustrating her Tale of Genji. Theatre performances, typically dramatic or musical, are presented on a stage for an audience and have a history that goes back to Hellenistic times when "leading musicians and actors" performed widely at "poetical competitions", for example at " Delphi , Delos , Ephesus ".

Aristotle posed questions such as "What is the function of the arts in shaping character? Should a member of the ruling class merely watch performances or be a participant and perform?

What kind of entertainment should be provided for those who do not belong to the elite? Expectations about the performance and their engagement with it have changed over time 1.

Operetta and music halls became available, and new drama theatres such as the Moscow Art Theatre and the Suvorin Theatre in Russia opened.

Plays , [86] musicals , [87] monologues , pantomimes , and performance poetry are part of the very long history of theatre, which is also the venue for the type of performance known as stand-up comedy.

The stage and the spaces set out in front of it for an audience create a theatre. All types of stage are used with all types of seating for the audience, including the impromptu or improvised 2 , 3 , 6 ; the temporary 2 ; the elaborate 9 ; or the traditional and permanent 5 , 7.

They are erected indoors 3 , 5 , 9 or outdoors 2 , 4 , 6. The skill of managing, organising and preparing the stage for a performance is known as stagecraft The audience's experience of the entertainment is affected by their expectations, the stagecraft, the type of stage, and the type and standard of seating provided.

Films are a major form of entertainment, although not all films have entertainment as their primary purpose: The medium was a global business from the beginning: Increasingly sophisticated techniques have been used in the film medium to delight and entertain audiences.

Animation , for example, which involves the display of rapid movement in an art work, is one of these techniques that particularly appeals to younger audiences.

This is similar to the way that the nobility in earlier times could stage private musical performances or the use of domestic theatres in large homes to perform private plays in earlier centuries.

Films also re-imagine entertainment from other forms, turning stories, books and plays, for example, into new entertainments.

It demonstrates that while some films, particularly those in the Hollywood tradition that combines "realism and melodramatic romanticism", [97] are intended as a form of escapism , others require a deeper engagement or more thoughtful response from their audiences.

For example, the award winning Senegalese film Xala takes government corruption as its theme. Charlie Chaplin 's film The Great Dictator was a brave and innovative parody, also on a political theme.

The many forms of dance provide entertainment for all age groups and cultures. Dance can be serious in tone, such as when it is used to express a culture's history or important stories; it may be provocative; or it may put in the service of comedy.

Dance is "a form of cultural representation" that involves not just dancers, but " choreographers , audience members, patrons and impresarios For example, in Africa, there are " Dahomean dances, Hausa dances, Masai dances and so forth.

On the other hand, many folk dances such as Scottish Highland dancing and Irish dancing , have evolved into competitions, which by adding to their audiences, has increased their entertainment value.

Since dance is often "associated with the female body and women's experiences", [] female dancers, who dance to entertain, have in some cases been regarded as distinct from "decent" women because they "use their bodies to make a living instead of hiding them as much as possible".

For example, while some cultures regard any dancing by women as "the most shameful form of entertainment", [] other cultures have established venues such as strip clubs where deliberately erotic or sexually provocative dances such as striptease are performed in public by professional women dancers for mostly male audiences.

Various political regimes have sought to control or ban dancing or specific types of dancing, sometimes because of disapproval of the music or clothes associated with it.

Nationalism, authoritarianism and racism have played a part in banning dances or dancing. For example, during the Nazi regime, American dances such as swing , regarded as "completely un-German", had "become a public offense and needed to be banned".

Banning had the effect of making "the dance craze" even greater. Dances can be performed solo 1 , 4 ; in pairs, 2 , 3 ; in groups, 5 , 6 , 7 ; or by massed performers They might be improvised 4 , 8 or highly choreographed 1 , 2 , 5 , 10 ; spontaneous for personal entertainment, such as when children begin dancing for themselves ; a private audience, 4 ; a paying audience 2 ; a world audience 10 ; or an audience interested in a particular dance genre 3 , 5.

They might be a part of a celebration, such as a wedding or New Year 6 , 8 ; or a cultural ritual with a specific purpose, such as a dance by warriors like a haka 7.

Some dances, such as traditional dance in 1 and ballet in 2 , need a very high level of skill and training; others, such as the can-can , require a very high level of energy and physical fitness.

Entertaining the audience is a normal part of dance but its physicality often also produces joy for the dancers themselves 9. Animals have been used for the purposes of entertainment for millennia.

They have been hunted for entertainment as opposed to hunted for food ; displayed while they hunt for prey; watched when they compete with each other; and watched while they perform a trained routine for human amusement.

The Romans, for example, were entertained both by competitions involving wild animals and acts performed by trained animals.

They watched as "lions and bears danced to the music of pipes and cymbals ; horses were trained to kneel, bow, dance and prance Animals that perform trained routines or "acts" for human entertainment include fleas in flea circuses , dolphins in dolphinaria , and monkeys doing tricks for an audience on behalf of the player of a street organ.

Animals kept in zoos in ancient times were often kept there for later use in the arena as entertainment or for their entertainment value as exotica.

Its economic impact means that it is also considered a global industry, one in which horses are carefully transported around the world to compete in races.

In Australia, the horse race run on Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday and the public regards the race as an important annual event.

Like horse racing, camel racing requires human riders, while greyhound racing does not. People find it entertaining to watch animals race competitively, whether they are trained, like horses, camels or dogs, or untrained, like cockroaches.

The use of animals for entertainment is often controversial, especially the hunting of wild animals. Some contests between animals, once popular entertainment for the public, have become illegal because of the cruelty involved.

Among these are blood sports such as bear-baiting , dog fighting and cockfighting. Other contests involving animals remain controversial and have both supporters and detractors.

For example, the conflict between opponents of pigeon shooting who view it as "a cruel and moronic exercise in marksmanship, and proponents, who view it as entertainment" has been tested in a court of law.

They both involve animals and are variously regarded as sport, entertainment or cultural tradition. Among the organisations set up to advocate for the rights of animals are some whose concerns include the use of animals for entertainment.

Trained monkey performing for an audience of children — Crowd watches Pharlap win the Melbourne Cup in Australia, A circus , described as "one of the most brazen of entertainment forms", [] is a special type of theatrical performance, involving a variety of physical skills such as acrobatics and juggling and sometimes performing animals.

Usually thought of as a travelling show performed in a big top , circus was first performed in permanent venues.

Between the demise of the Roman 'circus' and the foundation of Astley's Amphitheatre in London some years later, the nearest thing to a circus ring was the rough circle formed by the curious onlookers who gathered around the itinerant tumbler or juggler on a village green.

The form of entertainment known as stage magic or conjuring and recognisable as performance, is based on traditions and texts of magical rites and dogmas that have been a part of most cultural traditions since ancient times.

References to magic, for example, can be found in the Bible , in Hermeticism , in Zoroastrianism , in the Kabbalistic tradition, in mysticism and in the sources of Freemasonry.

Stage magic is performed for an audience in a variety of media and locations: It is often combined with other forms of entertainment, such as comedy or music and showmanship is often an essential part of magic performances.

Performance magic relies on deception, psychological manipulation , sleight of hand and other forms of trickery to give an audience the illusion that a performer can achieve the impossible.

Audiences amazed at the stunt performances and escape acts of Harry Houdini , for example, regarded him as a magician.

Fantasy magicians have held an important place in literature for centuries, offering entertainment to millions of readers. Famous wizards such as Merlin in the Arthurian legends have been written about since the 5th and 6th centuries, while in the 21st century, the young wizard Harry Potter became a global entertainment phenomenon when the book series about him sold about million copies as at June , making it the best-selling book series in history.

Street entertainment, street performance or "busking" are forms of performance that have been meeting the public's need for entertainment for centuries.

The art and practice of busking is still celebrated at annual busking festivals. There are three basic forms of contemporary street performance.

The first form is the "circle show". It tends to gather a crowd, usually has a distinct beginning and end, and is done in conjunction with street theatre , puppeteering , magicians , comedians , acrobats, jugglers and sometimes musicians.

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