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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 23, 1912)
Dmajia Sunday Be
Copyright. 1913. by Araerloan-Examintr. Great Britain Rights Reierved.
Interviewed for the First Time-By Alan Dale
An Intimate Picture of the
Woman "With a Riddle
for a Face' Who May Be
a Greater Bernhardt
IDA RUBENSTEIN probably is the mott interesting theatrical per
tonality in Europe. Paris knew her first, only a few years ago,
its a dancer, from Russia, and was captivated. But the pres
ently . justified her boundless ambition by exhibiting dramatic talent
of the highest order,
D'Annunzio, greatest of modern literary geniuses of the decadent
school spendthrift and dandy, who had broken many feminine
hearts, including that of Eleanor Date, and cynically wrote a novel
- about it saw Ida Rubenttein and threw himself at her feet For
her he wrote his tragic masterpiece, "St Sebeatien," while attacking
the citadel of her heart with all his acquired skill. She pro
duced his tragedy, brilliantly, and then coldly turned her back up.
on him the only woman who had successfully resisted D'Aa.
nunciothe first to break hit heart
By ALAN DALE
' If l LAI ll U I Ivl I H U W . 'i-v vff"? "ipwCrv , V v" . - S t. , vvvP'Hi"CV t
--,-' Paris, June 1. -
kt TERSAILLES, that once sheltered poor "
A Marie Antoinette before she lost her'
' ' y ,'head, now shelters the enigmatic, toys
serious actress-dancer known as Ida Rubin
stein, who is never likely to lose Tier head.
Versailles, f till of memories of the past, leaps
into the immediate present as the home of
the much discussed Russian, who has blos
somed forth into a full-fledged Parislenne.
And it Is at the Trianon Palace that Mile. Ida
Rubinstein abides. (I may add that It la a
hotel, because If t didn't, you would probably
But, like most Parisian ladleB-eten of
" Russian birth Mile. Rubinstein has what
'they call a pieds-a-terre (a foothold) In Paris,
She may lose herself at Versailles whenever
she chooses, but she has a nook het-e, at No.
S Rue Vanneau, which the calls her atelier
workshop). You see, I'm translating every-
' thing I can for you, out of sheer goodness Of
heart. Thank goodness, I didn't have to trip
: out to Versailles, where aU the tourists go.
I was not obliged to chat to Mile. Ida amid
the atmospheric souvenirs of Marie Antoinette-
There is a fitness in everything. She
- bade me to her atelier at No. 82 Rue Van-
neau, and thither went I, filled with curiosity.
Mile. Rubinstein had just closed an en
gagement at the Chatelet Theatre in "Helena
of Sparta," that ran for sit nights onlyprob
ably owing to Us stupendous success. How
ever, know that she waB no poor little"
struggler-ess, cast down by the non-run of a
colossal production. What cared she? More -over
the king is dead; Long live the King!
Mile- Rubinstein is billed to appear In Oscar
Wilde's "Salome," in a few weeks to come,
with special music, special costumes (or non. -costumesT)
and specially special iconic ef
I had never seen Ida Rubinstein. "All Pa
rls" has spoken to me of her, and I know her
of course. She is always dolna- things. Last
J 1 stein'i
HI I Pote
I ll 1 "HeIene
year when I was in Paris she produced an
enormous affair called "The, Martyr of St
Sebastien," by D'AuhunElo,' with niuslc by
Dubussy, and that, tbo, seemed 'too big even
for Paris. la fact,'. Ida Rubinstein is a power
here, as women can be when they are odd,
or beautiful, or fantastic, or energetic. She
produces the best of everything, and if n
falls, is she cast down? Not" on your life.
Jamais, which means neverl
They put me In a little elevator, at No. 82
Rue Vanneau, and told me that it would
stop all by itself at Mile. Rubinstein's atelier
on the sixth floor. I hate those elevators
minus elevator boy, They move as though
they never wanted to get anywhere or in
tended to get anywhere and there you are,
locked in, and powerless-, As I was enclosed
in this personal ascenseur I said goodby to
myself and shut my eyes. When I awoke
It seemed ah hour after I was at the sixth
floor, at the open door of Mile- Rubinstein's
atelier. ; '
There she stood, in a harrow gray satin
skirt, so tight that it showed every line of
her figure. A hat with one of those back
ward feathers that look like the rudders of
boats added to her height, and she wore a
reil, well over her face. It was a curious
riddle of a face. She was livid almost green.
The whiteness of her Skin gleamed strangely.
Her, Hps, scarlet, like a wouhd, gave one an
odd sensation of mingled fascination and re
pulsion. Two dark eyes pierced the veil.
Mile. Rubinstein looked pensive, distraite, and
exceedingly sad. Her hands, with the long,
tapering fingers, were nn&dorned by a single
Jewel. A single diamond glistened among the
laces on her unemotional breast She was a
remarkable figure, and the sight of her op-'
pressed me vaguely, t felt I should never be
able to "make conversation." Words failed
mewhlch is unusual.
She stood there la her immense studio,
lighted from ibove (the studio, not Mile. Ru
binsteia). It was a colossal apartment, with
a slippery floor. At one end was a raised
platform, red-carpeted and railed. A few
books, yellow-bound, graced a shelf. It tyas
all very cold and systematic- A few minutes
(probably seconds) later, she smiled. If the
Sphinx could smile, it would ftmile exactly as
Mile. Ida Rubinstein did.
"I practise the dance here," she said apolo
getically, la perfect English almost the Eng
lish of an Englishwoman "although I live at
Her voice, though low and well modulated,
echoed through the room. I could not imagine
her practising dancing anywhere- She seemed
so languid. Presently she sank upon a sofa
and looked at me through her veil and half
closed eyes. A tiny little dog, th cutest,
tiniest spaniel I have ever seen, dashed into
the room and, dogglly, begged me to take him
on my lap. The little dog broke the Ice. Mile.
Rubinstein broke into a human smile as I
fondled the dog.
"That is Cora," she said, with a semblance
of animation. "Isn't the a dear? I have fifty
dogs at my home in Versailles, and, above all.
I have a leopard, that I acquired in Africa. I
love my leopard better than anything, but I
cannot bring it to Paris, because it is savage.
Cora is the only pet I have hefe."
At any rate, I had made a hit with Cora.
She nestled la my ' arm and never even
loooked at Mile- Rubinstein, who still lay on
the sofri in apparent fatigue.
"Pari is so frivolous," the said presently,
r " " ' m mil. ic i. ' i
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The Newest "Art" Photograph of Ida Ruberutcin "She was Livid lmot Green. .
, Her lips, Scarlet Like a Wound, Gave One an Odd Sensation of Mingled , Fascina- i
tion and Repulsion" Says Alan Dale, Who U Seen Sitting in a cor ner with Her Dcj
Mile. Rubenstein, as ahe Appeared in the Principal Part
of Her Ballet, "Sheherazade." .
after I had lured her from' a veritable Jungle
of monosyllables. She had said "Yes" and
"No" so often that I had begun to despair of
her, and had nearly given her up, when, some
how or other, she seemed to spring into life.
She lifted up her veil, and her white face
looked whiter, her red lips redder, and her
dark eyes darker
. "Paris is so frivolous," she repeated, "that
sometimes I think it It above Its head. My
beautiful production of 'Helene of Sparta'
Quite magnificent, and I was Helene-haa
closed. The same thing happened with 'The
Marty." of St. Sebastien.' Do you know why?
Pari was Jeaious of D'Annunzio. It was the
first time he had ever written in French, and
they were afraid. They said he wrote bad
French, and other stupidities like that. He
had always written in Italian and had been
translated. Oh, D'Annunzio it wonderful. His
books could be dramatized, but he will not
permit it. He prefers to be his own master.
In the future, I think, he will write plays in
stead of novels. He has acquired a taste for
It But Paris is so light!"
She looked at me cynically. Her face now
eeemed drab in the fading light. The little
warm body of Cora was a comfort to me.
"You know that they won't have Ibsen in
Paris" the went on. "They simply will not
tolerate him. Oh, yes, 'Nora' they don't mind,
becauae it is so easy. The other plays they
,n! not tolerate. And Strindberg they do
2 toow h m here- I once saw 'The Father
S St Petersburg. It is very dreadful-too
dreadful for Paris. Paris wants to laugh all
thT time Then Paris must dine, and Paris
Su. 55. lid the theatres must not inter
r with that I am going to produce 'Sa
lome.' "tie one-act play, and It will be good
tor an entire evening."
She was getting a bit less languorous, but ,
with the best of intentions one could not
have called her a merry soul!
They will dine before they come to tee
'Salome'," the said, "and it will begin very
late, and they will sup when they oa seen
Salome,' and it will end very early. They
like that. One dares not to make a i serious
upeS for they are not .erlous in Parts."
"What do you wear as Salome?" I asked
"I have not yet seen my costume, the
Bald carelessly (and I wondered!), "but It
will be very beautiful. It Is specially de
Blgned for me. Yes. I dance the Dance of
the Seven Veils, and I try to do something
new You know we have not finished with
Salome in Paris. It is all so beautiful! I
consider myself an actress and dancer. I
think the dance Is a part of the drama. It Is
an expression of drama. The real dancer
mutt be dramatic. She cannot dance unless
she has drama in her soul. I love to combine
dancing and drama- Yet I love serious
.,, MvnflturA is serious. I cannot laugh
at the Boulevard theatres in Paris. They
oppress me." '
Was it a pose? If so, it was well done- She
had not budged from the sofa. Her veil wat
still lifted, but she had ceased to smile.
"They want me to go to America, she said
softly. "They want me to act In America,
but it is so far! I have never been there."
I was silent. It is not wise to contradict a
lady Rumor saith that once, a deca4e ago,
Mile. Ida Rubinstein was In America. Rumor,
forsooth! Prate not to me of rumor. If Mile.
. . i A n KaIIava thot fiha hfla
never been In America, I'll believe it. That aparta.
aa teem to be her insinuation.
"If I ever go to America," she said, "I want
to play drama there In English. I want to
tiv Hedda Gabler, which I love. That is my
ambition. 1 Another of my ambitions. JSr.-'
play 'Helene of Sparta' in Germanin Berlia , 16
Perhaps I shall do it- Then I dance always. -
If I ever come to America, I shall dance as
well. But, you see, I speak English. When I '
wat a little girl I had an English governess -in
Russia, and I spoke even better than I do ,
now. We are all linguists In Russia-" -
"Do you know your fellow-countrywoman,
Nazimova, who has made a hit in America,
playing la English?", . '
She looked at me inquiringly. '.'I never'
heard of her," she said. "She could not have .
been famous In Russia. Once a famous Rus
sian actress, now dead, went to New York .'
and played there in Russian, but she was not
a success. No, I do not know Nazimova. Do
they like Ibsen in America ?"; , .'
I gave her a brief frightfully .brief his
tory of Ibsen in the United States. She lis -
tened with closed eyes, or at least I fancied ?
that she listened. Perhaps she didn't In any1
case, I do not think that a career in U. S. A. is ;
of vast importance to her. She makes her v
magnificent productions here in Paris,' and
it they fail she does not worry. Her look of
profound melancholy is merely habitual.
Cora barked and jumped from my tap. t
felt that I could not stay in that oppressive
studio any longer without Cora. Mile- Ida
Rubinstein sat up and adressed some endear
ing epithets to Cora. Yet this little dog did
not go to her. It capered round and round
the room. Mile. Ida laughed aloud for the
first time. The dog amused her. certainly
did not. . .
She showed me pictures of "The Martyr of
St. Sebastien" around the walls of the atelier.
She had five hundred of them by which to
remember that most costly of experiments'.
She pointed to them rather listlessly, trailing
her gray satin skirt on the polished floor.
The little dog barked itself away. I shivered
slightly. She put down her veil and moved
toward the door.
Alone, in the little Self-working elevator, I
breathed again. I could not understand Mile.
Ida Rubinstein, though, and perhaps lecause,
her English was so perfect
From . ' fy&h''''
P"ter ' WLV
Ruben H l ll
stein -; W I I l .
Helene J ' L3sCTi 3.1
of KvHllriu raffuiwf I
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