Saturday, March 21, 2009

Anita Berber: A Timeline


  • Born June 10, 1899, to musician Felix Berber and cabaret singer Lucie Thiem.

  • 1916: First stage appearance as a dancer at Bluethner Hall.

  • 1918: First film appearance, in Das Dreim√§derlhaus.

  • 1920: Begins descent into various addictions - alcohol, morphine, cocaine, sex. Becomes well known as the "Dancer of Vice", bringing a new sophistication to illicit cabaret choreography and nude dancing.

  • 1922: Open polyamorous relationships including lesbian club owner Susi Wanowsky and dancer Sebastian Droste. Marries Droste, then divorces him.

  • 1924: Nonstop touring, causing scandal in every town she visits, with hotel orgies and drug arrests.

  • 1925: Her portrait is painted by Otto Dix. For most of the remaining 20th century, this painting is almost all the public has to remember her by until Mel Gordon publishes her biography.

  • 1928: Went on European tour despite being near death with tuberculosis. She collapsed onstage during a performance in Damascus, returned to Berlin, and died within four months. Buried in St. Thomas cemetery in Neuk√∂lln, Germany.

    View: Anita Berber montage
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