Beyond a musician’s technical or musical ability, his/her stage presence strongly influences the reception of his/her interpretation. But what is this thing we call “presence”? Why do certain artists appear to be more at ease on stage than others? Even though the musician’s art clearly includes communicating with an audience, this essential aspect is not addressed enough in our training. On top of that, our ability to feel good in front of an audience has a strong effect on our technique and our musicality, as well as on our overall sense of fulfillment while playing. The question of “presence” touches on a number of very important points for any musician: performance anxiety, breathing, physical sensations during performance, preparation and ones way of working, adaptability, etc. For most people, being on stage isn’t a natural situation, and everyone looks for their own answers (often by themselves) in order to “survive” or rejoice during this experience.
There is no magic recipe in order to learn “presence”, but in the Feldenkrais lessons we work with principles which can help each person find his/her own way of learning and growth. Finally, it is always in leaning more and more on who you “are” that one finds presence, and not in trying to tack on an image of who you think you “should be”. When our actions are in accord with our structure, our movements are efficient and functional. When our inner listening and our outer listening are in accord with ourselves, we can create a connection with an audience while being able to stay connected to ourselves and to the music.