On April 21st
I wrote a post on applause
from the point of view of an audience member. This
week, a dancer is gives his thoughts on the subject.
I promised him that I wouldn’t reveal his
All I can divulge is that he’s one
of the finest dancers in the world and has been a principal dancer at two of
the leading ballet companies in the world.
Do you think any time
is the right time for applause?
I think that if someone wants to applaud because they are
moved or excited, they should. Although sometimes it can get out of
hand and in the past I have wondered if a triple pirouette really moved someone
so much they had to applaud. I don't want to tamper anyone's
enthusiasm for the art form, but frequent outbursts can distract from the
overall performance. I tend to think if something is extraordinary
then go for it, if not save it for when they finish so everyone in the audience
can appreciate their performance in a complete and full form.
Has clapping ever
affected your performance?
Audience clapping can have a dual affect. It can
take you out of your concentration, or it can bolster your performance even
more. As a performer, we crave to make the audience excited, or have
them feel an emotion, essentially to take them to another place in their
mind. Sometimes this comes out as applause, and when it's right it
can be amazing to feel the audience participation.
What kind of audience
to you consider ideal?
I have performed all over the world. Each
audience is different. In addition, an audience is made up of many
people from unique backgrounds, so it's very difficult to say what an ideal
audience is because appreciation is shown in many different ways. In
general, an appreciative, enthusiastic audience is ideal. Like
sports, not everyone is a season ticket holder who comes to the ballet every
night. However, if the audience gets invested in the art on stage,
and acquires some new knowledge and appreciation, and reflects that in their
response, then that is my ideal audience.