The curtain raised and there was silence throughout the crowd of patrons.
As the curtain disappeared the crowd admired what had been hiding behind the great cloth. Sitting on a wooden chair at the very centre of the stage was a maiden with skin as white as ivory, her totoo pink, her eyes green and glazed over.
For two whole seconds the crowd’s gaze was fixed on the beautiful creature, a cough escaped one young man before the orchestra played.
The music was slow at first, a hummingbird whisper that some impossibly way could be heard by every ear. It drew in the patrons, forcing them to concentrate. Then the flutes played and the woman on the chair moved.
Slow, sluggish, mechanical in away. The maiden stood, unblinking, she began to dance. The crowd’s attention was a fixed upon this small marvel, her dance hypnotising them, the music drawing them in.
The ballerina then performed the impossible. While spinning her body around on her toes, her head stayed still. The crowd gasped at this feat.
The music appeared to be moving the ballerina. As the rhythm increased, her dance sped up, and similarly when the music turned to a whisper, her dance took on a softer tone.
Then as the music end, the impossible ballerina gave a bow and gracefully sat back onto her seat, in the same position she had began. Her impassive face showed no exhaustion, no sweat, and no breath escaped her, she was as many will later say, perfect.
The crowd roared. Clapping, they shouted for encore, but there would be no second performance. The choir of the applause continued long after the certain fell, and the audience were able to view the writing on the curtain which had risen only ten minutes.
BARRON MCKENZIE’S CLOCKWORK MARVELS.