Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Before Black Swan there was Anna Pavlova



When I recently checked out the DVD for "Black Swan," it brought to mind another dancer.

Anna Pavolva.

What would it have been like to see her dance?

I realized I should go straight to the source: Lady Eve Marlowe, the heroine of my Spice novel, Cleopatra’s Perfume. After all, who would know more about Berlin in the 1920s than someone who was there?

When I asked Eve to take over the blog, she was quick to point out she didn’t come to Berlin until 1928. I reminded her that she had inhaled the sights, smells and sounds of the city–an elixir of the finest perfume that was Weimar Berlin. Hadn’t she often whispered in my ear about the decadent goings-on in the cabarets, the entertainers, artists, literati? I said. And partaken of the erotic delights that hypnotize with the telling?

That’s when Eve smiled and I saw that sexy gleam in her eye, knowing what she was thinking, how much fun it would be to once again live through those wild erotic times and indulge in the poetry and fantasy that was Weimar Berlin.

And so I give you Lady Eve Marlowe, who will guide you through Hot Weimar Berlin.

********

Thank you, Jina, for giving me this glorious opportunity to write this post.

Sitting at a café, I write the words: Berlin 1921 and it unleashes a completely different world, people racing through a time when they struggled to find their life rhythm in sex and eroticism.

You mentioned several readers were interested to know more about Pavlova’s impromptu dance that night in the cellar club. Oh, how I wished I could have been there, but I was fortunate enough to hear about it from another dancer who knew someone who was there that night.

According to her account, Anna Pavlova was out for a night with friends, sitting in the corner and not drawing attention to herself. Someone recognized her and the buzz began–everyone started looking in her direction.

This was in 1921–she would have been around forty then (she died in 1931). I can see her in my mind, this sophisticated woman with the long, elegant neck and willowy body, knowing she possessed a beautiful gift that belonged not to her but to the world.

Pavlova embraced the wonderment and homage the customers showed her and rewarded them the best way she knew how.

Her dance.

According to this eyewitness, she was wearing a suit and shawl–she removed her jacket and whispered something to the violinist, who no doubt never dreamed his music would accompany the famed ballerina.

Then she began to dance…

Her body floated across the tiny nightclub floor with elegance and grace, her spirit ethereal and dreamlike, her steps as light as the gossamer notes of The Dying Swan played by the violinist, her art of dance shaped by a lifetime of diligence to her craft…but it was her passion that all who were there would never forget.

A beautiful swan who lives on…

–signed

Lady Eve Marlowe
Berlin 1958

“Cleopatra’s Perfume”

6 comments:

Michelle Polaris said...

It must have been magic to be in that club with Anna that evening. Thanks for the peek.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks for that glimpse, Lady Marlowe.

Jina Bacarr said...

You're welcome, Michelle. It was a fascinating time when "life was a cabaret," but Berlin was also a hub for all the arts.

Jina Bacarr said...

Wynter--it's always fun to write a post through the eyes of your heroine. Glad you enjoyed it!

Dalton Diaz said...

I love hearing about that era, in books, movies, etc. Not too many people around who lived it, but I do remember hearing a few stories from my grandmother. The whole "Want my boobs hanging flat to my knees" thing still shocks me, tho.

Jina Bacarr said...

I just noticed the comments I made here last week disappeared.

Anyone else have this problem?

Thanks.