Energy is what makes the difference between a performance of a lifetime and an average show, though with the same theme, choreography and cast. Dance Gurus emphasise how performers should embed the right type of energy as part of their character, and yes this true but like most things, everything in moderation, even moderation itself.
A dancer should be able to control their breathing whilst executing the choreography on stage because the danger of losing the balance between high-tempo energy and movement, as I have seen, may lead to tiredness halfway through the performance. Concentrating more on executing the movements also poses a danger of making the performance look flat, which will puzzle your audience and have them asking the question: ‘Why did we pay to watch this s**t?’ (Excuse my French).
I will share a trade secret that I have had to learn over the years – take energy from the audience and give it back to them, thus becoming one with them and feeding off of each other’s energy. Whenever I am on stage, the audience has this excitement and enthusiasm about the performance, a kind of curiosity of what they are about to see that exudes this massive energy that allows me to thrive on stage. I always make sure my choreography has a grand and mouthwatering opening. I want to capture the audience in the first 30 seconds and make a huge first impression that allows me to take them on a journey through the intricacies of the piece, going deep into my thought process in creating the piece. In the end, the audience had to have felt my energy and they must have forgotten that they were at a show but have just gone through a life-changing experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.
During the performance, it is important to regulate the levels of energy for each routine, but importantly, do not forget to lock eyes with the audience on the low-tempo moments and create chemistry with the audience. When executing jumps, turns and changes of steps or pace, these should be your moments to shine. I certainly maximise during these (apparent) little moments that average dancers take for granted. I make them a little bit more dramatic because I know the audience will keep such moments in their minds, and always have that memory stuck in their heads. This will leave the audience asking for more, which becomes the pull factor for the next performance.
I love dance so much that it is all I do. If I am not writing a concept down, I am creating new movements and choreography, or teaching children techniques. But I always keep tabs on the industry by attending performances and the memorable ones are those that do not leave me with comments but with pictorial views of particular routines and the energy I would have received from the artist(s). As a dancer I work hard on my energy on stage, which makes me more unique in the way I move. My audience typically remembers performances not only during the show, but the performances stay in their mind for the rest of their years. A memorable show can only happen when a dancer puts the audience into the performance as part of the action, and you all have fun together!
My parting words friends – Energy is not the amount of power that you put on stage during a show, it is how you maintain your appearance during the time you are on stage and how you interact with the audience after the performance.
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