Performances by platinum artist like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus, have been characterized by giant teddy bears, elaborate costume changes, legions of backup dancers, and every once in a while, acrobatics. There is no denying that these women are serious power players in the music business, but there is a slow movement in the world of music that is changing all of that.
Incredible talent from young artists like Lorde and FKA twigs are showing a different side of a female power stage -- a more solitary feminine power. Both of these artists perform on a dark and empty stage, with their band members hidden in shadows. Their alone-ness on stage makes them powerful. Marking them as singular auteurs who have control and command attention from their audience.
FKA twigs has a cat-like presence that is calm and seductive, but not in the overly sexualized fashion that we see so often from other way we are used to from female performers. She's not asking for you to love her, she doesn't even want your approval.
The same goes for Lorde with her robotic dance moves, gothic makeup, and glorious raggedy hair. The confidence that these women exude—that they so thoroughly believe in themselves—is absolutely incredible. We rarely get to see female performers move with uncensored, raw emotion.
Their stage presence is bigger than simply changing the ideas of how women should act on stage. They are quietly and forcefully redefining the idea of a female musical performance. These women are not only showing that confidence is beautiful, but that women do not need anything but themselves to make a moving, artistic performance. Women can finally just be themselves.
This piece was inspired by Molly Beauchemin: http://pitchfork.com/thepitch/550-fka-twigs-lorde-and-the-changing-landscape-of-female-pop-performance/