Rajiv 55 / 400 Jan 9, 2011 #1MUSIC STAGEImagine a stage --- a really big one, like the kind which have professional performances. Imagine you're standing there, behind the curtains on the side. The music has begun -- Nutcracker Suite -- and the rising strains fill the hall. Perspiration beads your face, the overhead lights are shining; brightly illuminating a spot in the center of the stage. A expectant hush fills the hall and you close your eyes to focus on the music and lose yourself in it. Other stage hands are looking at you but their faces register as blank of expression. That isn't where you will find the assurance, as you poise yourself, ready to launch from the sidelines on cue..Your first movement is a rush to the center as the spotlight catches you. The music rises in a crescendo and you slowly twirl, countless eyes fixing you in their gaze; and you feel the audience lean back in their seats; they expect a high performance tonight, and you will not disappoint them. Suddenly your partner is fluttering on to the scene, dressed in pink, her ballerina shoes barely touching the ground. A smile fixed on her face, the one for the stage, and you try to meet her eyes; for only then will the magic begin. Each performance is as individual as a painting created afresh, or a poem written for the first time. Only those who have been there on stage know how true this is. Specially so when you want to deliver a virtuoso performance; you, your partner and the music become one. The audience, is almost incidental.The music tempo picks up and you both go through the early steps, gracefully, almost mechanically. Her's is the more difficult part, you provide the support for her many pirouettes and twirls and swings. You feel her tension as the most intricate motions come on. But you've done it so many times you're confident and try to pass that to her. Then, smoothly, you've both crossed over the difficult passages, and hear a collective sigh from the audience; and then you are rushing into the closing of the piece. She looks at you now, the corners of her mouth twitch in the faintest of smiles. She catches your expression, eyebrows raised - I was never worried - you want to say, and you feel her siding up closer to you, letting you feel her warmth in a small gratitude. The music goes high, then in another crescendo - ends. You both land side to side, immaculately positioned on your feet, and raising your clasped hands together, take your bow; the audience cheers. You've given them the performance they had come for.Thank you.