Yuja Wang is a 24-year-old Chinese soloist, who performed this month at the Hollywood Bowl. Her attire got heads turning when she stepped on stage with a sparkly, form-fitting, orange mini-dress and 4-in. gold stilettos. It was so revealing that when she bowed to thank her audience after the performance, she did not know whether to cover her cleavage or her booty! There were some negative critiques about Wang’s outfit. Klickstein, a music critic, stated that “the moment the audience catches sight of the performer, the performance has begun — their mannerisms, their attire, everything matters.” Wang’s mishap in her choice of attire can really affect how her audience views her.
Another music critic of the Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed, gave a harsh critique about Wang’s appearance at the Hollywood Bowl. Swed comments that:
Her dress Tuesday was so short and tight that had there been any less of it, the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult.
Although he complimented her grace and delicacy in her piano performance, his negative comment on Wang’s fashion choices sparked up a debate among many bloggers and music critics on what constitutes a proper concert attire and whether a performer’s fashion choices should be taken into consideration in a music review.
When I think of a classical music performer, I imagine someone who dresses conservatively, so she can allow her musical performance to be the star of the show. Although an artist can freely express her personal statement, did her wrong choice of attire overshadow her wonderful performance? If I saw her at a club, I would think that she looks really good, but in a setting of a concert hall, maybe not.
[Photo courtesy of LA Times]