Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marina Lord's(Salz's) peacock dance at Radio City Music Hall.

In 1940 my mother left the Ballets Russes only to find out that her figure and style of dancing did not fit into choreographer George Balanchine's requirements. She was a Dutch woman alone in New York with her relatives in Europe during the war trying to find a new outlet for her dancing talents. Her stage name at the time was Marina Franca but she decided to change it to Marina Lord. She tried sending publicity photos to Hollywood and even did a commercial to promote ballet slippers but nothing seemed to materialize as a viable alternative. Finally through an agent she was hired to perform a dance in a peacock costume at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The job was humiliating for her since she had received so much classical ballet training in Paris with Russian teachers. For the peacock dance, she was required to wear a huge construction of feathers behind her back with a motor that activated the moving feathers when she bent forward. For publicity, she was photographed with the costume in the peacock cage of the Central Park Zoo. The famous cartoonist Al Hirshfeld did a drawing of her for the Herald Tribune. The New York documentary photographer WeeGee did a picture of her in the costume titled "Cinderella Ball".

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