For all you performers looking to improve your skill as a performer — not your technique with the tool itself — here’s a great little perspective on why learning more skills may not be the place you need to focus.
When we perform, we’re in what we like to describe as an “energy bubble” here at Temple of Poi. If you expand the bubble by reaching out the audience, then you’re creating an energetic exchange in which you have a “dialogue” between you.
If, however, you stay on stage cloistered in your own bubble, then you become sort of this objectified thing that audience members are disconnected from.
Neither is right or wrong and they both work.
However, if you want to take the audience on a journey, it can often be easier to do that when you actually create the “dialogue” described above because when you shoot energy at the audience, they have an opportunity to do something with it: absorb it, deflect it, and/or reflect it.
If you think about the tentacle of energy you shot to them like a (friendly and desirable) virus, when they absorb it, that automatically changes your crowds energy and the people around them are likely to be infected with it to some degree also. If they reflect it, then not only are they impacted and infecting others around them, they are transmuting the virus of yummy performance energy back to you such that you’re performance is also changed. Even if they deflect it, they may be deflecting it to someone else who possibly absorbs it.
The more one shoots those tentacles to the audience, the more possibility of this transmutation is possible.
Ergo, if one is shy on stage and inward – which is often coupled with technical spinning – the audience is often left in awe but with little actual opportunity to do anything other than marvel.
We contend that a tech spinner who can also actively direct the tentacles of energy to the audience — weather they dance or not — will have a much more impactful experience on the crowd who will then infect them with more power which will have the performer have more powerful tentacles of energy passed to the audience, which causes more impact on the audience and so on in an upward spiral of positive energy that creates more and more powerful performances overall.
So if you have the skills but don’t feel like you are getting the sort of response from the crowd you’d like, it might be fun to try to “reach out, reach out and touch someone…” with your energy and see how that changes things for you and them.