TAKE A BOW: Etiquette for Concert Audiences and Dance Recitals
Each year, the Omaha School of Music and Dance presents their students in two recitals—one for music, and one for dance. This is oftentimes the first stage performance for a child, and for some families attending. We’ve made a handy list to help the OSMD families understand the ins-and-outs of being a supportive audience.
As with movie theaters, audience-goers should silence their cell phones, or even better—turn devices off completely. Avoid using an electronic device at all, as the light from the screen distracts neighbors, and one can never be too safe in avoiding unintentional beeps and alarms.
Usually pictures and videos are prohibited during concert performances because of copyrights of music or even the artists performing. Usually professional pictures or recordings are being taken, as with the Omaha School of Music and Dance’s recent Music Recital. OSMD’s upcoming dance recital is also being professionally recorded—parent and family can pre-order DVDs at the studio’s desk, or at the check-in table June 10th.
Applause – musical concert vs. ballet performance
In musical concerts, applause happens after pieces have been completed—but there are usually more than one composition on a program! How does one know when the performer has reached the end? If in an orchestra concert, the conductor will lower his arms and turn around to acknowledge the audience, or will immediately gesture to give the musicians a bow.
Some musical pieces, like symphonies, are made up of three or four “movements”—complete musical works in themselves, they often tie together themes heard throughout. Between movements of a symphony applause is withheld, unless a truly amazing feat has been accomplished, then the audience might erupt with approval.
In Ballet performances, applause operates in a slightly different manner. If attending a full classical ballet performance (of, say, Swan Lake or the Nutcracker), the story is broken up into scenes, which are listed out in the program. Applause is given between most scenes, as well as after impressive and particularly moving solo dances (like as in a jazz concert!). Then the dancer might pause briefly to acknowledge the accolades and take a bow. In OSMD’s dance recital, applause is appropriate after each class arrives onstage and as they finish their dance. If a particular student has a center-stage solo dance within their class’ performance, such a star student can be acknowledged as well.
During performance, audience members should…
… avoid talking or excessive noise (i.e. unwrapping loud crinkly wrappers)
…wait to get up from their seats (in case of emergency bathroom break, etc) until intermission when auditorium lights go up, or at applause breaks.
… stay through the final bow of the performance—it is your way of thanking the performers for their hard work. Leaving before the artists exit the stage is considered a sign of displeasure or disrespect.
The students at the Omaha School of Music and dance have been hard at work this year, and we know that they are excited to show you what they have learned. By following these guidelines for future recitals, all families will have an enjoyable, distraction-free experience witnessing the students’ achievements. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, June 10th, for the OSMD students’ dance recital.