Watching A Live Performance: Appreciating Dance
One of the many things I have an appreciation for is watching a live performance of any kind. Whether it is a theatre play, musical, concert, comedy act, or dance performance, they are all magnificent to me. I personally didn’t start developing an appreciation until I started doing shows myself. My first time I felt like I was on a stage was when I was seven years old; it was for a karate exhibition. So technically it wasn’t an actual show, but it certainly felt like it. The nerves were there and my own expectations on myself to do well. The people I was performing with were ready to wow the audience just like myself. After that experience from then on out I was hooked on performing for others. Throughout high school I performed constantly for color guard and choir events and dance shows in college. I felt like a performer. I loved everything about it. The attention, the pressure, the expectation on myself to have every run through of the performance to be the best I have done yet, all of it was adrenaline that made me thrive. Through these experiences is what developed my appreciation for any type of performer.
I tend to feel a special bond to dancers specifically though due to my experience and background in dance. Every time I get fortunate enough to see a live performance I get anxiously excited for the journey I’m about to take. The combination of movements, music, costumes, make up, lighting, props, and stage set up, all set a mood for each performance. A person can have many different experiences when watching a performance. I not only like to enjoy what the dance is trying to express, but I also like to look for technique and dance combinations. When I go to see a dance show, there are a number of different dance pieces, and each one has its own story behind it. The best part is that each individual audience can have a different interpretation of the dance, and an altogether different experience. I love talking about the shows after the fact with whomever I went with to express both of our opinions on what we saw. It gives me a chance to reflect on the emotions and memories each performance triggered.
There are no rules when watching any live performance. Some things to keep in mind to notice are:
- The Dancers- the movement and emotions each performer is expressing. I personally tend to be drawn to one or two particular performers for whatever reason. They typically tend to have a really big stage presence that makes them stand out. It is also good to notice the relationships between performers. Chemistry is definitely noticeable, but it also might be a part of the story.
- The Choreography- the combination of patterns and shapes that are being shown on the stage. Some structures may be abstract.
- The Design- this includes the costumes, props, lighting (color), stage set up (texture) being used to enhance the movements.
I encourage you if you have not seen a live performance lately to go see one! It can be anything! It’s a fun new experience and a great date night idea! Go out and appreciate performing art!
Article by Jacqui