Part one of a three part series introducing our newest team member, Victoria.
She sets the tables and lights the candles for the evening – the guests will be arriving soon. Dancers flutter down the hall and rush to take their places. Victoria catches a glimpse of their skirts disappearing around the bend. She glances for a moment in the mirror and muses that it’s time to move – there is a very special performer coming this evening!
Victoria hurries backstage to help with any last minute adjustments. She navigates through stretching acrobats and jugglers; she notices a young dancer needing her corset laced and clown in need of a bit of makeup. Victoria gives her approval to the troupe, blows a good luck kiss to her performers, and leaves to greet the guests, now arriving in droves. On her way out, she snaps at a new waiter to adjust his bowtie. He retorts with a look of scorn as she relights a candle. Tonight, everything must be just so.
As the typical crowd of poets, travelers, workers and writers pour in, Victoria scans the audience: warm candlelight illuminates a young couple enjoying a romantic tête-à-tête, a man in a wrinkled suit drinking beer, and a group of giggling bohemians. She stops to greet visiting noblemen, enjoying wine together in one of only a few mahogany booths. Dinner is being served. To boisterous applause and spirited yells, Victoria introduces the first performers and the show begins.
Victoria steps off the stage and pauses to adjust her burgundy velvet dress as a waiter whispers the star singer is almost ready! Dinner tables are quickly moved to clear the floor for dancing. Musicians take their places and the star singer emerges, her dress glowing under the chandelier.
The singer’s first notes ignite the crowd into a frenzied dance; mirrors amplify the spinning skirts and quick steps in sync with the rhythmic pulse. Music washes over everyone and suspends reality, if only for a few precious hours. In the center of the sacred floor, Victoria smiles to herself as she delights in the oneness of all in attendance.