Chicago-based flutist Yukie Ota handled a challenging distraction during her performance like a true champion on Monday at the Carl Nielsen Flute Competiton in Odense, Denmark. A butterfly landed on her face and she barely looked up.
While most people would react to any critter (beautiful wings or no) landing smack atop their forehead by quickly melting down, Yukie Ota barely blinked, and finished out the piece with poise and grace, with an expression that said, “Butterfly? What butterfly?”
To top it all off, she evidently advanced to the next round.
In their report on the story, NPR enlisted the help of a Smithsonian Museum of Natural History curator to figure out what on earth drew the butterfly to the performer’s face at that moment. The expert’s answer: the bug likely was attracted to the saltiness of her sweat under the bright lights of the stage. Nope. No pressure at all.