"Once the initial choreography is completed, it is time to become analytical about the progress of the programme to day. This can be a very difficult transition for anyone to make,for having been completely immersed in a creative process, it is now hard to stand back and objectively analyze the finished product. At this time it is especially important to receive feedback from judges, coaches, and spectators as you now need a new audience to review your performance. From their reaction and their input you will know if the concept, music, story and movements are creating the total desired package. Further to this, if you have a routine that appeals to people on an emotional level, it will be apparent even at this early stage of development. Because most coaches are perfection oriented, this personality trait often makes them hesitant to receive feedback onroutines that are in their roughest form. But, GO FOR lT . . . as this will be very beneficial interms of allowing you to reach your end goal!
"Excellence is not an act but a habit"
Another element of artistic impression, closely connected with music interpretation, is manner of presentation. I have often heard others define manner of presentation as how welt you sell your product. This is a very appropriate comparison when the objectives in this area include having total command and being convincing in your delivery to the audience.
One very important aspect of manner of presentation, is employing total facial expression. Unlike figure skating and dance.,our athletes perform largely from water level and up, and therefore expression is a critical element. I remember one Canadian judge, well respected for her artistic flare and knowledge of music, sharing her thoughts with me about the importance of developing manner of presentation in our athletes. Her message was simply that, training the muscles in the face is no different than training synchronization to be automatic. Both skills require a great deal of repetition in order to become spontaneous under pressure. As coaches, it is always our intent to train our athletes to present fully during their routine practise sessions, but often we tend to neglect this area as we become more focused on other aspects. However, we must be clear that we cannot expect the athletes to have total command of a performance if we do not train this area on a daily basis. At the same time, the more comfortable the athletes are in a performance situation, the greater the level of refinement we can expect in the area of manner of presentation." SHEILAGH CROXON - FINA Seminar 17/01/1996