Anita Berber, Weimar's best-known showgirl, performed in the nightclubs and casinos, naked except for a sable wrap and a pet monkey hanging from her neck. Her body was thin and androgynous; her bright red hair was cut in a rebellious bob and a silver brooch filled with cocaine usually hung around her neck. A pioneer of modern expressive dance, using the music of Debussy, Strauss, Delibes, and Saint-Säens, she was at first taken seriously, but eventually her artistry was overshadowed by her scandalous personal and professional lifestyle, as performances grew increasingly macabre. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis while touring in Lebanon in 1928, and died shortly afterward, at age 29. With original and classical music, dance and striking stage design, Oh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls recreates some of Anita Berber's cabaret-styled performances, including much of her "repertoire of the damned."
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