Giving up the art
Author: Ella

Chapter 11

i settled into my seat and fidgeted around. my white dress felt rather uncomfortable with the brown ribbon tied tightly around my waist. my dress was pure white with flower prints at the seams. the ribbon that doned the dress was attached in front and could not be removed. it was plaited neatly and it shone with a brassy brown.

i looked towards the stage and yearned to see my friend. it was an hour more to the show and i was restless. the concert hall was almost empty and the cold air was enveloping me. my hands were numb from the cold and i could barely weave the ribbon back to its original form. i stood up and wondered off, searching for my friend. the few audience that were seated did not notice me as i ascended the stage and sneaked behind the curtains into the backstage. the front of the stage seemed very serene. the floodlights lit the entire stage and emphasized its bareness. the maroon curtains were decorated with translucent pink fabric hanging loosely from the rails above the stage. at the centre stage, a banner in the shape of a tiara displayed the concerts name. even the stage floors were not left out. pink and silver glitter was sprinkled all over the wooden stage. i stuck out my leg awkwardly and hit the stage, the glitter scattered and flew into the air. it created a shallow sparkling dust that curled around my ankles up to my knees. it gave me a magical feeling and i imagined dancing through the massive amounts of glitter and shining as they surrounded me. the glitter followed the ballerina's graceful movements, it was just like how i remembered using my ballet cloth to dance.

beyond the mesmerizing view of the stage, i found a mess behind. everyone was crowding around and running about shouting commands and orders in every direction. i could not even tell who was the director of the concert. the dancers were in their costumes but their hair was undone and flailing around. their stockings were crumpled and their ribbons dangling from their waist. everything was a mess. the noise was high and the air hot and humid. the concert was in an hour, and i found it hard to believe that this mess would become a beautifully and almost perfectly staged concert.

i weaved my way through the crowd and found myself in the dressing room. the lights were blinding and the atmosphere was tense and hurried. surely this was not the way graceful ballerinas prepared for a concert. i scanned the dancers, all dressed in the same costumes and tried to pick out my friend, yet she was not among them.

i walked up to one of the dancers who looked collected amidst the clutter and asked if she knew where isabel was.

i found her outside the hall. she was in the practise room with her feet gently resting on the bars. her legs were at right angles and she seemed very comfortable in that position. she was in her leotard and her hair was neatly pinned up into a black bun.

"isabel!" i called out.

"ellia! what brings you here? you should be in the concert hall, the seats will be taken up," she said quickly.

"i don't have to sit in the front row," i smiled and lifted my feet, trying to imitate her. she bend backwards and moved her arm behind her, stretching her whole body, "the front seats give the best view. don't you want to see me dance?'

"of course i do," i smiled harder. "but the best view isn't at the front. it's backstage."

isabel laughed and placed her feet firmly on the ground, "the backstage is a disaster! you see nothing from there."

"i went there just now. it's unbelievable that you can produce such a beautiful perfect concert from that!"

isabel looked at me sternly, "it isn't perfect, ellia. it's terribly flawed. all of us perform wrong steps in the show. art isn't pefect."

"at least math is," i sighed. i knew so little about art.

"math is all the more not perfect, it's not even beautiful" isabel grimaced. "it's just accurate."


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