to Ida 1912-1914)
by de La Gandara
Creator of "La Pisanelle"
Gown by Worth
Martyre de Saint Sebastien
and the height of Belle Epoch Paris
...The public, however, was more interested in scandal and sexually irreverent
art than in their immortal souls, and defying the archbishop, showed up
in droves. Opening night brought out, as had Diaghilev's premieres, an
illustrious audience that included Isadora Duncan, Marcel Proust, and
Jean Cocteau. What they witnessed was astonishing -- all six hours of
...The play was scheduled for twelve performances, alternating at the
Chatelet with the third Paris season of the Ballets Russes.
...Complaining to Astruc, Diaghilev declared dramatically, "we have
been sacrificed to the work of Rubinstein and d'Annunzio."
Ida exacebated the impressario's resentment in 1912 when she
agreed to perform the lead Nymph in Nijinski's new ballet L'Apres-midi
d'un Faune and then promptly withdrew from rehearsals.
...(Ida) chose her roles from a distinguished pantheon of women --
There was Helen of Troy in Helene de Sparta, and two more versions of
the Salome story...
In 1913 there was another five-hour D'Annunzian extravaganza, La Pisanelle,
ou Le Mort Parfumee, which found Ida as a courtesan turned nun, pelted
to death by a storm of roses. The public stayed away.