The life and death of Anita Berber (1899-1928), who was what we would now call a performance artist, are inseparable from the frantically erotic climate of Weimar Germany, as this tabloid-style tell-all biography by Gordon (Voluptuous Panic) makes abundantly clear. A child of divorce, the Dresden-raised Berber began dancing at 16, earning major Berlin reviews and working in film by 1918; she began dancing nude in 1919, and did films titled Prostitution and Different from the Others that same year. Gordon provides numerous photos and titillating anecdotes taking readers from that point to Berber's death in a Beirut nightclub (including her alleged sexual enslavement to a woman and the woman's 15-year-old daughter). This intriguing, haphazard document offers a plethora of clues into a the life of a woman whose repertoire included a dance entitled ""The Corpse on the Dissecting Table."" Berber's life cries out for thorough study, such as that recently accorded inspired Dadaist Baroness Else von Freytag-Loringhoven.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2006 Release date: 05/01/2006 Genre: Nonfiction