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september 2012

Showtime! It’s Your Moment On Stage

Shiamak Davar
There is always a first time and when one has to learn any art form they must just find the time and follow their heart. One common question that students and dance enthusiasts across the globe always ask me is, how to be a complete performing artist. So here are some tips to ensure a successful career in the field of dance.

The Foundation
  • Start out early. If you know dance is your calling, devote time in your formative years. It is the time when the body adapts better, flexibility is higher and the willingness to learn is greater. This also gives you more years to train and hone your talent.
  • Find the perfect guru! It is very important to receive knowledge from the correct source. An experienced teacher with wholesome knowledge and a global perspective will be able to mould you better. A real teacher will always encourage you to keep your originality. Take advice and enroll in a proper school.
  • Give attention to details. When you choose to take up a profession that involves creativity, your soul should reflect through your work. Focus on every individual aspect that will make you stand out. Speaking specifically for dance, you must work on physical fitness, strength and flexibility, theoretical knowledge, regular practice and precision of movement.
  • Inspire! When people see you performing, singing, teaching or choreographing, they must be inspired to come back and take up the art themselves as well. It is then that you know you are really sharing your gift.
The Performer
  • When you’re designing a performance, make sure you visualize it as the audience as well. It will give you an overall perspective of the performance.
  • Be original, get inspiration from others but that does not mean you copy them.
  • Make sure to have the ‘wow factors’ in your performance, something that will stay with the audience or something they’ll take back with them.
  • Detailing goes into, not only the choreography, but also the costumes, the sets and the properties. Make the entire deal grand.
  • Prepare well and in advance. Make sure the production and backstage are as well rehearsed as you are. It always helps, if you have a familiar team working on sound, lights and backstage.
  • If you’re performing as a group, build team spirit, help each other and keep everyone’s confidence high. Give each other space and always remember that it’s the effort as a group that shines forth.
  • Rest well before the D-Day. You need to be fresh and not fatigued.
  • You must align yourself mentally before the performance. Collect all your thoughts to stay positive. And when it’s showtime, remember it’s your moment on stage!

In Gratitude

  • Personally, for me, the most important is the power of prayer. Before and after each performance/ class, always thank the source of all power, the Almighty.
  • Never forget your mentor, your guru. Thank everyone who is associated with the production, as every single person makes equal contribution in making the act successful.
Don’t let rejection or failure disillusion you, stay focused and let your mistakes make you stronger. Always remember, YOU are unique. Only you can empower yourself, so believe in yourself. Work hard and follow your dream. Good luck!


Shiamak Davar is Choreographer and Founder, Artistic Director, Shiamak Davar International, Mumbai.