Wednesday, 9 March 2011

A Life on Stage

Alternatively titled "Why I became a dancer/performer"

To all my friends who have never been on a stage/performed in front of an audience, I'll tell you one thing. The feeling one get when on stage is unlike anything on Earth. There are a number of reasons that drive performers to be performers. Nevertheless, I'll just mention the reasons why I do so.

Firstly, it's simply because on stage, I get to live a whole new life. I've had my fair share of stage performances and I'll tell you, for those few minutes I'm on stage I feel most alive. My dance instructor once said "We you're on stage, you get to be anyone and anything. So much better than living your old boring life," and I couldn't agree more. On stage, we can get away with doing close to anything that is allowed by law. It's probably the only place where people will CHEER a performer when he cross-dresses (thanks ACS(I) Drama for burning my eye on way too many occasions). In a nutshell, when we're on stage, we cease to be us. We instead become the characters we have been chosen to play, for those few minute we have on stage.

Secondly, it's because I want to say something. Much like why politicians do what they do, performer perform because they want to be heard, be it with their words or otherwise. Dance was, is and will always be a form of expression. It's the visual interpretation of music. Even if I'm just performing another person's choreography, in the end when I'm on stage it's just me and the audience (and the other dancers of course). The point is, even if the words are not mine, it's me who's having the conversation. It's me who's having that connection with the audience and nothing can replace the feeling of connecting with an audience. I'm not quite at a level where I'll be able to pull off my own choreography but I hope to be able to one day.

Lastly, it's because I want to entertain. I want to be able to create a moment for my audience, even if that moment lasts for well... a moment. The famous anonymous quote saying "dance to express, not to impress". No matter how noble the intentions of the quote are, the quote by itself fails to see that dancers are at then end of it all still performers. To dance without any regard for what the audience might think is quite frankly just masturbation. Besides, I shudder to think they may be dancers who would not feel the slightest bit of happiness when they see how much enjoyment their audience gets. Don't get me wrong. I do believe to dance simply for the glitz and glamour is like smearing mud on the good name of other dancers but that doesn't make the other extreme any better.

At the end of the day, I dance because that's what I love to do. Dancing is by no means an easy thing to pursue. If I didn't have as much vested interest in dancing, I probably would have quit a long time ago. Thankfully, I love it as much as I do since I cannot imagine myself in a world without dance.

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