Today’s prompt: One day, your favorite piece of art — a famous painting or sculpture, the graffiti next door — comes to life. What happens next?
Walking away from the MOMA, watching the assorted yellow, brown, red and orange leaves scattered down the sidewalk, hurried along by the afternoon wind and just ahead of my stride, I searched my mind for answers. What had occurred inside could not be real. Clearly I was experiencing a hallucination; had the tumble of last week scramble some brain circuits? As I walked back to the hotel I was hoping to rationalize what did happen as merely the affects of too much caffeine or the utter lack of alcohol.
A visit to NYC wasn’t complete for me, without a stop at the MOMA. Spending just a short sixty minutes, like today, was a cherished escape from whatever stress-filled event called me to the city. Today was no different; I had rushed out of the conference using the excuse of needing exercise and air. I would definitely see an increase in contacts and revenue from just the morning session; however, right now I just needed a break from the room. I wouldn’t be needed for at least ninety minutes and getting to visit my favorite sculpture piece Degas’ Little Dancer – Fourteen Year Old would help relieve some of the lingering jet lag.
Mid-afternoon Mondays are a good time to visit, fewer crowds, especially after September and so I found myself standing just inside the door frame when the sense of movement caught my attention. Startled into stillness, I was mesmerized and filled with such happiness as the petite figure continued to pirouette along the long wall to my right. Stopping, she bent over and touched the floor, hands flat, knees ‘walking’ it out in time…left, right, left, and right. Gracefully she slowly straightened, arms moving in sync, palms delicately placed facing each other, fingertips lightly touching and moving up and over her head. Pausing for just a moment, she curtseys to the opposite wall and begins to pirouette in place. Silently, I begin to count one, two, and five, six, seven and as she reaches ten she glances in my direction and sees me.
Stopping mid-turn she shyly motions me over and quietly states, “You’ve caught me. I must complete all 32 Fouetté rond de jambas to advance and so I practice when no one is here.” (She is referring to the 32 pirouettes in place made famous in the Black Swan and Cinderella ballets.) Her tutu swishes with the movement, as her fingers smooth back wisps of hair that has escaped her braid, lightly touching the heavy silk ribbon as if to ensure it is still attached.
Shaking my head and shoulders I lean back alarmed. “This can’t be happening, you are a statue.”
“Oh, that! That is my day job. To stand here, like a stature, while the museum is open. Tedious really, wouldn’t you say? What’s your day job?”
And before I can answer, she slips back into her stance and freezes.