This article on performing freely came out today in The Strad and I was overjoyed to read this passage:
When we watch very good players, we can observe different bow grips, positions, etc. It is not as much a matter of position but of the inner kinesthetic feeling and directions: What remains the same is their freedom of movement and being in balance.
As performers we become very good at imitating our teachers and players that we admire, and striving to be (or sound) like our idols is an important part of improving our art and defining our personal aesthetic and artistic values. There are also performers we work really hard not to be like, for all the same reasons.
What’s the difference between imitation and embodying our own choices, allowing our personal style to inform what we do? We recognize the difference when we see it on stage, but how do we guide students (or how do we as a director make space for our peers) to deepen and trust their sense of self so they can have the freedom and balance that we relish seeing on stage?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.