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The following advice to performers on platform deportment is issued by The British and International Federation of Festivals:
A festival is an occasion when you want to do your best in every way, and platform deportment is a very important part of your performance. Performers can greatly add to the enjoyment of sessions by a pleasing and relaxed appearance. A performer who is at ease on the platform puts the audience at ease.
A performer who has made the effort to prepare work should use care and thought when selecting clothes to wear at the performance. Smart dress is a courtesy to the audience and unless the performance calls for it (as in some drama or dance classes) flamboyant or very casual clothes should be avoided. Skirts always look shorter on a platform, and, especially where the piece relates to a historical setting, or a mature character part, it may be more appropriate to wear a longer skirt. Female cellists and guitarists may find trousers more comfortable than skirts.
Expensive clothes are not necessary and a white shirt or blouse and dark trousers or skirt are usually ideal.
Instruments should have been tuned prior to the class, so that only minor adjustment is required on the platform. When a music stand is used it should be placed so that it does not obscure the audience's view of your playing.
A performance starts before the first note, and finishes after the last one. Wait quietly until the adjudicator is ready, taking a few deep breaths, so that you begin your performance feeling comfortable. A slight bow to the adjudicator and audience at the end is a courtesy which rounds off your performance (don't forget to acknowledge the accompanist, if you are using one). Leave the platform without hurrying. If you are called up to received prize, shake hands with the presenter before taking it.
Attention to these points helps a great deal to develop a higher standard amateur public performance.
Published by kind permission of The British and International Federation of Festivals.