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Where is the clapping coming from?

December 23, 2010

See what I mean by blush-inducing?

Public transit makes holidays merrier.

Exhibit A: My battle with RTD forced me to join in holiday celebrations in the Mile-high City

Exhibit B: Last night, I took  our national capital’s Metro system to the  Warner Theatre to see the Nutcracker with my sister and some friends.

While the former holiday experience resulted from a public transit mis-hap, the latter was one of infinite instances when public transit has gotten me where I need to go without a hitch or annoyance.

I walked the few blocks from my sister’s place to the Potomac Avenue stop, used my credit card to get a ticket from the machine, and stepped off the escalator onto the platform just in time to catch the Blue Line train to Federal Triangle. Once there, I walked one more block and was there.

Now, after a lovely night at the theater, I have a question: Who starts the clapping?

I don’t mean the clapping at the end of the act or between scenes or following the blush-inducing Arabian dance. I mean when a lead dancer is at centerstage doing a bunch of fouettés or some other inhumanly difficult and beautiful thing and the clapping is for that dancer and that movement alone.

I’ve been to the ballet enough to sense when the clapping should kick in, but I’ve never felt bold enough to start it myself—especially not after that woman behind me tried it once. No one followed her.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows when to start the clapping but never actually starts it. What do you have to do to be an applause-initiator?

  • Sit in that center section of the auditorium?
  • Be a season ticket-holder?
  • Know someone onstage?
  • Posess some hyper-keen ear for the timing of appreciatory appendages?

I don’t have the answer. Do you?


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