Some theater scholars believe that performance originated in religious ritual. It’s difficult not to succumb to feel worshipful in the presence of Performa 11, the biennial festival curated by RoseLee Goldberg that celebrates innovations, explorations, and provocations in live art. During the first three weeks of November, Performa 11 will sponsor scores of dances, films, installations, and marvelously unclassifiable events—most of them at low or no cost. The lineup includes the likes of a “medieval-style rap joust”; a “chakra sauna channeling chromatic body fluids”; a choral concert with lyrics garnered from unlikely sources such as political speeches and voicemail messages; and an evening of conceptual stand-up. look for hometown preachers Jack Ferver, Justin Vivian Bond, and Reggie Watts. Testify!

Mondays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 1. Continues through Nov. 21, 2011