The Ballerina

May 31, 2011
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The lights grew, the music started as the crowd shifted with anticipation, and the opera singer began to fill the air with sorrow. The ballerina stood frozen in her pose, waiting for her cue to let her music box position unwind. The singer stopped; the ballerina fell into position, twisting, turning, and beautifully stretching to convey the deepest sorrows of the singer’s remorse. The audience felt the sorrow of the scene, some crying and pulling at their tissue boxes without true understanding of the language the singer sang. Others simply watched the ballerina with awe, unaware of her lack of talent, but caught up in the graceful movements she made across the stage. The lights dimmed to their former blackness, and the ballerina disappeared behind the stage.

Behind the stage, she became caught up in the rush of the multitude that were awaiting their chance to shine, many of them singers, actors, or dancers trying to achieve the fame they had always dreamed of having. The ballerina did not fit in with this multitude. Performance after performance, she tried her hardest to impress the crowd, trying to earn a sense of recognition from them; she had not realized she had already won this attention. The ballerina had become what she was reduced to, though she had no real talent as such. She had been forced out of school because she was too passionate about the things she loved, and not at all passionate about the classes she was forced to take. From lack of effort, she was discharged into a whole new world of passions, where she never felt she could measure up to the others pursuing the same dreams.

She slid effortlessly into the gorgeous dressing room of the Hotel D’Argent, a hotel that had been the first to integrate the highlights, and necessities of society into one. The Hotel D’Argent was much, much more than a hotel; it was a combination of a hotel, the state’s largest theatre, a small hospital, a series of restaurants, and a shopping mall. It contained its own police force, and was home to many people seeking fame through Madame Margret’s theatre.

The ballerina ran the elegant fabric of her next ensemble over her delicate figure, transforming from the ballerina, to the “Dark Rose Singer,” a low key part in a group of singers for a scene in this particular play, which thousands upon thousands had come to see. She ran out as her scene began, the lights glowing hotly on the stage as the performers made their entrance, as the audience was enthralled by their grace. It was like standing in an arena for the ballerina, with an intense crowd, and a bull charging at the invisible red cape. They got into formation and sang, as the leading roles played their parts. The ballerina was a mere extra in a crowd of talent. They sang loud and clear, their voices were bells in a pin-fall silence, before filing out as the leads overwhelmed the audience. The ballerina moved backstage through the depths of the stage wings, and clumsily ran into Mr. Harris, the hotel manager.

Mr. Harris was an older man who was well respected, but was known for taking advantage of the women in the theatre. The ballerina was no exception to his reign of terror within the hotel. Her face flushed with fear and with embarrassment of her clumsiness. She apologized, her words bowing deeply to a higher rank, and dipping into her bittersweet remorse. She ran from him and through the long, gaudy halls of the hotel, forcing her way out to the outer field, that laid barren and brown, dust flying up beneath her footfalls. No one would follow her here, no one would face this desolation, and she knew it as she wept. The eyes of Madame Margret watched her from the door of the hotel, waiting for her to come back to the prison that the theatre had become. She slowly trekked back to the hotel, her face streaked with suppression. Madame Margret looked down on the ballerina, her chin raised high with circumstance, her voice filled with distain. She pulled the ballerina to her, the ballerina fighting against her, trying to get free from her grasp.

“Let me go, let me go, let me go…” The ballerina fell into sobs, “I do not want to perform, I want to be free of this, of all of you and your fake lives. Can you not see what is going on in this place? Can you not see that you are just another robot helping those lifeless people maintain their wealthy position? Let me go!” The woman let her go with shock, as if her trance had been broken for a moment before she fell back into her robotic notions.

“You are a foolish girl. You will never escape.” Madame walked away into the shadows of the hotel, and the ballerina ran, though even she knew she would perform yet again that night. The performance continued, the crowd remained in awe, and the actors and singers and dancers lined up in their dazzling costumes, ready to perform. The night performance began, a new audience ready to be in awe of something they would never understand. The ballerina stood frozen in her pose, waiting for her cue to let her music box position unwind. As the singer stopped, the ballerina fell into position, twisting, turning, and beautifully stretching to convey the deepest sorrows of the singer’s remorse. The lights dimmed to their former blackness, and the ballerina disappeared behind the stage. As the next scene approached, the ballerina was nowhere in sight, and Madame Margret went into the darkness of the stage wings. There she found the ballerina, lying in the crimson stain of the hotel’s secrets. Madame wrapped the ballerina in a fallen curtain, and dropped the body into the filth of the fly pit that contained the ropes and pulleys of the curtains. She watched as the curtained body fell to the bottom, and walked away with the satisfaction of knowing that a mess had been cleaned up so easily. The play continued, the Dark Rose Singers sang, a new singer among them. No one noticed the ballerina’s absence, and the show went on.





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