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Performance advice?


chaperone
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For her secondary school dance show next week my dd (14) is doing a solo interpretation of the start of a dance that she found on You tube to music by H Gronemeyer - it is a beautiful dance.- hope the link works

 

 

My query is...my dd has never done a solo before and is essentially working on her own on this piece a she doesn't do dance via school...I'm wondering what she should do if she completely loses the plot in the middle of her dance eg : forgets her planned steps, slips, gets spooked by the audience...presumably if you get out of time with the music you have to recover in some way. 

 

Anyone's advice, experience and knowledge welcome!

 

Tulte

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Tips from my dd who doesn't do Festivals, so doesn't find performing the easiest thing in the world:

 

Practice, practice, practice, as many times as she can, so that the dance becomes ingrained in the muscles.

Try out the floor in advance to check if slippery, and use rosin if necessary.

If she forgets her steps, tell her to improvise for a minute because unless anyone else knows the dance inside out, they won't notice!

If anything goes wrong, try not to show it in the face because sometimes the only giveaway is the performer's face!

Find a spot to look at slightly above the back of the audience.

It's helpful if there are bright lights shining on the dancer because it's much more difficult then to see the audience and get spooked!

At the start, smile, breathe, and go for it.

Smile at the end and try to enjoy the applause.

 

Hope that helps!

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What my DD's teacher always says about forgetting, is that nobody in the audience will know that you have forgotten unless you tell them - either with your body or your face. So keep smiling, keep moving and listen to the music, as it will tell you what to do.

Falling over is less easy to disguise of course, but all you can do is get up and carry on. My DD fell over in fairly spectacular style in one of her dance school shows a couple of years ago. It was unmistakeable, flying through the air, landing on her backside, legs in the air sort of falling over, like when someone slips on a banana skin in a cartoon. There is no way she could have pretended it was meant to have happened, so she just stood up, smiled, found her place again and carried on. I think I was more proud of her than I would have been had she danced perfectly actually.

Hopefully nothing so dramatic will happen to your DD though. I hope she enjoys herself and it goes well.

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S&P- thankyou! exactly what I was looking for...I was thinking it must be so different to an exam where you have to do exactly the right thing as the right time. So if she keep her confidence and veneer and does something different on the day no-one will know the difference.  I guess this is where a solo has an advantage on a duet or group!

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I had that momentary lapse during a performance.  I just kept moving and smiling.  No one in the audience knows the difference.  After a few moments muscle memory took over and I got back "on."   i didn't remember what I did during the lapse until I saw the tape and it looked just fine.

 

As for stage fright - I would just wrap myself in the music.  As i stood backstage waiting to go on - I just wrapped myself in the music.  AS for slipping and/or falling - it's happened to the greatest dancers.  Nothing to be ashamed of.  Just get up and go on with the dance.  If that is done with simple grace the audience will understand and be supportive.

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Pups mum- as above thank you...it does seem that appearing confident even if you are falling apart inside is the best approach...Your poor dd falling over so dramatically! With the right attitude and support it sounds like you can only learn from such things...fingers well and truly crossed that it doesn't hapeen to my dd on this occasion though!

 

Many thanks for your response..it does help to have some insight on these things as we are complete novices. I am a bit edgy as doing this kind of thing in front of your run-of-the-mill comphrensive schools does have its reputational risks but dd seems prepared to take them...

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Thank you Anjuli.  It really does sound like she needs to wrap herself in the moment and enjoy the experience and be prepared to improvise if she blanks out.  I think she will enjoy the two nights of performance and I'm please she has put herself on the line to do it -just hoping it will be a positive experience; which with the very helpful advice recieved on this forum I'm sure it will be!

Many thanks

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I was going to add some words of wisdom (from a non-dancing perspective) but looks like it's all been said!

(We saw a beautiful Russian prima-ballerina slip over in Swan Lake. She carried on until the interval then her under-study came on. Not that your dd is going to slip over, but it does happen to the best of us).

When my dd (or even in fact my footballing boys & their matches*) do anything like an exam/audition/performance I do say enjoy it. (I usually throw in a "you know it's not worth doing if you don't enjoy it" but that's always a little flippant... not sure I do mean that!) Oh... and husband always quotes, "succeed in preparing, prepare to succeed" 

 

Tell your dd (once she has practised and followed all the advice in the above posts) to ENJOY it and GOOD LUCK! The piece she is interpreting is beautiful and I'm sure she'll do it justice :)

 

 

* older son just walked in and is really cheerful.... they lost 15-0!

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If you are doing a solo then just keep dancing confidently as its so much easier to look like you know what you are doing if you are the only one on stage, as others have said the audience won't know if it was meant to be done differently. In many ways being in a corps de ballet is so much harder.

 

Many, many years ago I completely improvised in a choreography competition for various reasons and was so relieved to get silver- had I won I would have had to repeat the dance and then got "found out"...

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If you are doing a solo then just keep dancing confidently as its so much easier to look like you know what you are doing if you are the only one on stage, as others have said the audience won't know if it was meant to be done differently. In many ways being in a corps de ballet is so much harder.

 

Many, many years ago I completely improvised in a choreography competition for various reasons and was so relieved to get silver- had I won I would have had to repeat the dance and then got "found out"...

Absolutely agree. My DD has been doing solos on stage since she was 5 and takes pretty much any mishap in her stride. As she says, you don't have to think about anyone except yourself and you can always make something up as you go along.  But she gets much more worried about dancing with other people in case she makes a mistake and lets them down. The most anxious I've ever known her get about dancing was once at EYB when she had to lead a line on and she was panicking about getting the timing wrong and putting everyone out. (Didn't happen fortunately!) I've never danced myself but it seems to me that there is great skill in dancing in a group and making a corps really one body, not just a group of individuals.

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