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the art of window-dressing

published: 2011-02-13

They stomped around on stage in scarlet red. The woman, and the man. He was tall and lanky, his hands were too big for his body and obviously this is what a lot of flamenco is about: the hands. His long hair. A delicate man. He annoyed me. Why? Because he wasn’t dancing. He was coquetteering. And so was she. “Watch me stomp my feet as fast as I can. OlĂ©!” There were two modest singers in the back, in black. They weren’t lamenting their woes but simply singing a song.
Yet still, the audience applauded loudly.
“You now know too much,” said a friend of mine in the break, “you see past all the window-dressing.”
This had me thinking about the difference between writing and window-dressing. Truth be said, window-dressing has earned me applause in the past. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Why should I want the people who know to praise me when there’s a much bigger audience out there that is more than willing to applaud the expected?
After the break, I studied the woman and the man. Stomp, stomp. stomp, stomp, stomp. It’s better than my neighbour will ever stomp, or I for that matter. And obviously they loved the audience for loving them. Yet deep down they know. They know all too well that it takes a lot more to be able to perform their art sincerity and depth. The drama being: they may well never manage.

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