Expressiveness Part Two
Sometimes I have what I call “a blinding flash of the obvious”. These insights are those “Aha” moments when I laugh in wonderment over something that I think I should have realized earlier.
My latest “blinding flash of the obvious” has to do with dance performance – more specifically, how to improve the quality of my performances so that my audience feels what I feel.
As I wrote in Expressiveness Part One, once the technique is at a credible level, I wanted to start uncovering the character of particular dances. I chose to do this by emotively getting into the music and letting my body move naturally…still focused on me.
What I have most recently discovered is that every great performance is an interactive, emotional experience with the audience. So my questions now start with:
1) What is my experience of this music?
2) How do I invite the audience into the experience that I am having with this music?
3) How I use my face and body in ways that enable the audience to connect with me…and to our dance (we do dance with partners).
Since all ballroom dancers dance with a partner/instructor, I can’t do this work of connecting in isolation. So the next questions become:
1) How does my partner feel about the music?
2) What emotions are evoked for him?
3) What are his thoughts about expressing those emotions?
And finally: What story do we want to tell through our movement?
This approach assumes that your instructor/partner and you have the relationship to engage in said conversation. Once you have the conversation – probably multiple times for even one performance, the two of you can figure out how to incorporate each others’ styles and strengths to best tell the story you both want to tell.
This interaction and connection with each other in telling the story is what really connects with the audience…and hopefully the audience will be drawn into what you both feel.