In another thread someone wrote: "Watching her [i.e.- Hilary Hahn] perform... you can see that she truly is an artist. She doesn't dance around the stage and bob her head up and down when she reaches the climax of the peace, she just plays very gracefully and very maturely!
I'm astounded to see this mentioned as the mark of a true artist. I personally find the classical tradition of the soloist standing dead still to be unpleasant. I guess this tradition reflects the idea that the soloist is supposed to be "channeling" the Spirit of the composer or something. The musician is supposed to fade into the background and act like a window through which the audience can look to see the landscape of the piece. I don't believe that it's possible or desirable for a performer to totally remove him/herself from the performance equation.
I was looking at a few Nigel Kennedy videos on YouTube and noticed some intensely negative comments about how he moves around on the stage. I know he can get very flamboyant but in these clips the movement amounted to a couple little hops during intensely rhythmic, dramatic passages and once walking over to face a lute player during a passage where he was playing a duet with the lutenist. The comments made it obvious that this body language was way over the top to some people's taste.
I much prefer the performing style of jazz musicians, who move a bit in response to the music. To me, B.B. King is an example of perfect stage presence.
How do you all feel about this? Do you move when you're performing?
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