The children squirmed anxiously, eagerly, bedazzled by the hustle-bustle flurry about them. Mothers worked at fever‑pitch, mending leotards, pinning tutus, making last‑minute alterations to hemlines. Expectant fathers fidgeted, and, as if a bit out of place, busied themselves by checking and rechecking their camcorders. Grandparents bounced babies on their laps or just waited, patiently.
The lights flickered, then dimmed. Rehearsal after rehearsal behind them, the little dancers practiced and readied, the curtain drew open.
The recital began.
Seated at the back of the theater near the exit, an elderly man and woman rested quietly. From how they were sitting,...