Navigating the Global Creative

Dance of the Peacock


“The plane is about to take off” comes the fake cheery voice of a flight attendant over the PA. Laurel thinks about everything that has happened in the past 48 hours. It’s as if some higher being decided that her life wasn’t stressful enough, so he (or maybe it’s a she) decided that it’d be fun to see her struggle some more…. At least she’s going away now to take a break from everything happening back home. Maybe an escape would do her some good…



“The lists are up!”
“Congratulations, Jess!”
“You’ll be an amazing Clara!”

Laurel’s heart sinks. The flimsy piece of paper reads:

Clara: Jessica Valentine
Understudy: Laurel Harper

She wants to scream and cry until there are no more tears left. But she can’t do that. She’s a ballet dancer.Laurel takes a deep breath and walks into Ms Rose’s office.

“Good evening, Ms Rose. I noticed that I was only an understudy for Clara. Where did I go wrong?”

Laurel’s voice cracks. She bites on her bottom lip and looks up at the white ceiling to hold back the tears. Ms Rose takes of her small wire-framed glasses and places them on the desk gingerly.

“Miss Harper, you are an exceptional dancer, but your audition was not quite at the level of Miss Valentine’s. Your fouettés were not as neat as hers, and I saw a slight quiver in your arabesque. Maybe next time.”



Old leotards, worn out demi pointe shoes, moth eaten pull overs, 2 pale pink cardigans, black worn twice pumps, box of medals and ribbons, 6 pack hairspray, 300pack bobby pins, black box.

Laurel takes it out. Inside are old faded photos of a young Asian woman in her late twenties with long black hair flowing down on a white gown, lying in a hospital bed, holding a baby with soft brown hair. She turns the picture around and sees, Laurel’s first day. Mama loves you forever x. As Laurel digs through the box she finds more pictures of this woman: by herself, with the baby, and with...