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THE PLASTIC ART                     87
return to a normal upright position, when he subsequently has to impersonate the hostess who rebuffs Mary rather haughtily, rather disdainfully, as if embarrassed to shelter a woman whose coming maternity might dis­turb the peace of the house.
You see how ignorant an interpreter would be if he completed the movement of kneeling down, instead of indicating it plastically only. Can you see the grotesque situation of one getting up awkwardly from his knees and try­ing to continue the song ? Could you imagine a more dismal destruction of rhythm, atmos­phere, color, and plasticity?
All these efforts to acquire plastic beauty tend to give to the artist of the stage, or of the concert platform, a prominence in appearance, to broaden, to enlarge his outlines. I can better explain what I mean by referring to a French expression. We say, avoir de la ligne (to get the right lines).
Any actress, even without a pretty face, will be able to play the r61es of grand heroines, si elle a de la ligne, if she has portliness, stateli-ness, in short, all the prestige of plastic beauty.
However important the plastic harmony may be, it is understood that you will not sacrifice the truth of a subject to the plastic command-

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III