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Is it a set expression to say about something extremely good on the background of not a progress.

Thank you.
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No, I've never heard that before.

We have an expression about not being able to see the forest for (or through) the trees, meaning you focus on the details and can't see the big picture.

There's also "every cloud has a silver lining" which means that in bad things, there is still one good thing. That's a bit closer.
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Grammar Geek, thank you.

"We have an expression about not being able to see the forest for (or through) the trees, meaning you focus on the details and can't see the big picture."

That's expains a lot, probably the author reversed this expression as a big picture is the whole dance scene ( the article is about great dance achievements of the 2008 year)

which is not really prospering, but solo perforamances stand out among a performing entity. Here is an article http://www.thestar.com/Entertainment/article/559396 ,

Thank you very much.

Happy New Year!