Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Getting To Effortlessness in the Performing Arts

         Dancer taking a load off at rehearsal for Swan Lake Tribute to Elaine Thomas, Nashville, Tn

I went to a rehearsal for the Swan Lake Tribute to the 75th birthday of the amazing ballerina Elaine Thomas. The Dance Theater of Tennessee, where Elaine teaches now, hosts the event at Harpeth Hall Auditorium, Nashville.

I was mesmerized by the grace and beauty the rehearsing dancers exhibited as they readied themselves for the evening gala performance. Still mostly in their warmup attire, they appeared weightless, like they could fly at will. But of course, they were also sitting around as in the picture above conserving their energy for the illusion of effortless the public would see.

The best performance art, whether dance, music, acting, singing... requires not only effort but ALL of the artist. One has to be
  1. Trained in the craft... form is everything and it must be so ingrained as to be intuitive.
  2. Prepared, physically and mentally... without preparation, the artist cannot reach the peak performance otherwise attainable. And the unprepared performing artist can get hurt!
  3. Balanced.... and yes, balance can be the supreme achievement for an artist.
  4. Wise in the choices made... performing arts all require instant choices. Hold the pose just so long... sing the lick or not... play with a certain touch... write THIS sentence instead of THAT one... turn the eyes just so in that scene, etc.
  5. Healthy. No brainer.
I am very honored to be on the board at the Dance Theater of Tennessee. This event was a unique opportunity to see grace in the form of the art of dance... done masterfully in tribute to one of the world's great dance legends (Elaine Thomas is stunning at 75 - a beauty inside and out, now passing her art along to others). I believe all artists have much in common. I heartily recommend you watch for upcoming ballet performances by master dancers. You might feel a kinship:)

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