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Texts / Cécile Sorel



Cécile Sorel
Isadora Duncan 


Cécile Sorel (1876­1966), French actress.
     When I heard of the horrible tragedy, I ran to Isadora's home. I saw before me a woman immobile, rigid as a statue. "Is it real? Is this monstrous torture a nightmare," she murmured, "will I wake up? Will it last a long time?" How could one rescue her from this terri­ble dream? She had not yet realized what had happened. She seemed to be both spectator and victim of this tragedy. She recalled the fresh young lives that were her pride and joy. She spoke of them with tragic calm... 
     A silent crowd invaded her home on the day of the funeral. In the large studio her blue curtains, which served Isadora as a background to her dancing, now threw tender light as if to soften the vision of death. A pyramid of roses covered the beloved bodies. The musicians of the Colonne orchestra softly played the most beautiful classical pieces that had inspired Isadora's divine dances. The mourning mother, in her frozen suffering for all eternity, remained in her room. She seemed to belong to that other world to which her chil­dren had gone. 
     Later, she passed before us like a shadow on the way to the room that held the coffins. Then she seemed suddenly stricken with the reality of what had happened. Her knees gave way, she reeled, collapsing into the folds of a gray curtain. Then, slowly, as if the slight­est sudden movement would cause her to fall again, she raised herself. The funeral march with its rhythm alternating between love and death, carried her toward her beloved children. 
     Never was there a more moving ceremony. All Paris accompanied those two young flowers that had been cut down. Alone, Isadora walked at the head of the endless cortege. She resembled a mourner of the ancient times. The people were crossing themselves as they followed the folds of her dress. 
     I wanted to kiss her naked feet in their sandals.
Sorel, Cécile: Les belles heures de ma vie. Paris, Editions du Rocher, 1946. Translated in Seroff, Victor: The real 
Isadora. New York, Dial Press, 1971
Translated in Greek by Alkis Raftis and published in Raftis, Alkis: Isadora Duncan and the artists (in Greek with 
English supplement). Athens, Way of Life Publications & Dora Stratou Theater, 2002, 222 p.






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