V.com weekend vote: Do you tend to stand, if there is a standing ovation for a performance?

October 11, 2019, 10:07 AM · Audiences tend to give a lot of standing ovations these days - what do you think about this practice?


Certainly I am happy for an appreciative audience for classical music and performers. But sometimes it seems like a standing ovation is no longer a special kind of tribute, that anyone who gives a passable performance will earn a standing ovation.

What do you do, when you see a performance but feel it's rather mediocre, yet everyone around you is standing? Do you remain seated? Or do you join in?

Of course it depends a little on the context. For example, how about the student recital, where someone gives a clearly stand-out performance? Is it okay for the parents to rise to their feet? Or when a beloved artist returns to the stage after a hardship? Those kinds of standing ovations seem to mean something as well.

Does a standing ovation always need to be reserved for superhuman feats?

What are your thoughts about standing ovations? Do you participate in them? Have you seen standing ovations that seemed out of place? Or do you feel that most live performances deserve a standing ovation? If you are a performer, do they bolster your spirit?


October 11, 2019 at 03:44 PM · You're right, it's often not a special kind of tribute. I figure it's a way for the audience to say whether or not they liked the piece and its performance. Or perhaps to just honor the guest conductor/soloist. I don't stand if I didn't like the piece (no need to like everything in the concert) or thought the performance so-so.

October 11, 2019 at 07:48 PM · I have been the starter of a standing ovation, and it was because I was so moved by the entire performance (including a US premier) that I didn't think twice about jumping to my feet.

October 11, 2019 at 08:56 PM · While I'm one who will stand if and when I am so moved, I realized that I don't know the background of this practice. When did it start, what was the reaction to the first one, was it a royal who first stood and applauded,...?

I'll bet we have a music history buff on the forum who knows the answers.

October 11, 2019 at 09:23 PM · None of the replies quite captures what I do. I don't stand just because others do if I don't think the performance warrants it. But I will stand if I feel moved. Having said that, it is almost never that if I do so, no one else is standing either.

October 11, 2019 at 11:19 PM · I vote for no 3, and cite the age card for doing so ;)

October 11, 2019 at 11:53 PM · in my area it's become de rigueur.

October 12, 2019 at 02:00 AM · People sometimes stand up at the end because they tired to sit and they want to be more ready to go out into fresh air. ))))))) like in airplane just after landing.

I realized, if the publucum really loves what they see- they tand to sit and give a very long applause, enjoing the moment.

October 12, 2019 at 02:32 AM · I voted that when others stand, I usually do so also, but that requires a bit of explanation.

I'm usually on the stage, not in the audience, so the question is mostly moot. If I'm in the audience, it's probably a youth orchestra or other student performance, and many if not most of the audience are parents or friends of the musicians on stage. Remaining seated while everyone around me is leaping to their feet in enthusiastic applause is an appearance of churlishness I am not willing to assume, regardless of the actual merits of the performance.

October 12, 2019 at 09:26 AM · I usually stand up pretty soon as others stand up. Most of the time a live performance deserves that I think. But I must be honest to say that I am always so glad that I can stand up and move a bit. Because sitting down for so lang is not very comfortable in my opinion.

October 13, 2019 at 03:01 AM · Mendy here. I will stand if the piece moves me or otherwise knocks my socks off. I will also stand for a group that I love and support after their final piece in a performance as a sign of appreciation.

October 13, 2019 at 04:50 AM · We need as much support as we can get for the performing arts in this country. I say if the performance stinks on ice, and people want to stand cheer them on!!

October 13, 2019 at 08:47 PM · Too many standing ovations. I see them at almost all performances. They should only occur during exceptional performances.

October 14, 2019 at 01:03 AM · We have wonderful performers who come to our little corner of Northeast Alabama. The audiences are very appreciative! We might not fill the hall, but we will let you know we are grateful!

October 14, 2019 at 01:17 AM · Not every performance merits a standing ovation. People stand, I believe, simply because they are tired of sitting during the performance and wish to stretch. It is really rude to do so routinely, because it blocks the view of the performers as they recognize the audience's applause.

October 14, 2019 at 05:00 PM · If I am not moved by a performance but everyone around me has stand up, I usually wait a long while before I stand up.

October 14, 2019 at 07:06 PM · My answer is similar to Mary Ellen Goree's. I will stand and applaud for Youth Orchestra or other student performances if everyone else is standing, and it seems churlish not to.

I also read somewhere that you can stand but need not applaud if you are not really feeling the standing ovation vibe. But that remaining seated when everyone else is standing (absent an ability issue) appears openly critical. That made sense to me, so that is what I do if I liked the performance well enough but didn't think it was standing ovation worthy. I also don't like sitting too long and welcome the chance to stand up.

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