I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently. Not only because I’ve been taking part in and watching more dance shows recently, but also because an acquaintance (who makes shorts for poledancing for fun & fitness or whatever) also brought it up.
There are performers in every performance art who are either “on” or “off.” Like Jennifer (warning – link to pole dancing blog, with a discussion of stage presence, blamed on… wait for it… strippers and gymnasts!), I always wonder why a dancer who doesn’t smile or interact with the audience is dancing at all — (before you email me to say “but so and so…”, there are some performers who have a transcendent, meditative quality — Sting in the early years of the Police always seemed to go into his own little trance-world when performing. The bellydancer who truly hooked me into this dance form did the same: in both cases it was like being included in a private religious ritual. These are NOT the people I’m referring to.
No, it’s the performers who seem to be concentrating so much on technique that there isn’t room for fun or audience, or spiritual experience that confuse me. (And I’m not really including first time performers in this — but really, professionals should be beyond the terrified stage!)
And here’s the comparison — needlework can also suffer from a lack of stage presence! There are some designs that just sparkle, and others that can make you go… er? and then there are some designs that you can spruce up a bit on your own to make them uniquely yours. If you love everything but the color — Or think two bands in a sampler should be reversed — or want to use a different kind of thread — Do it!
Stage Presence. No matter your art form, you need some.