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Victor Seroff                            

 

Victor Seroff (1902-1979), Russian pianist and biographer, Isadora's last lover.

 

Excerpt from his book The real Isadora. New York, Dial Press, 1971.

 

 

  Isadora told me that ever since she had watched Ellen Terry's and Duse's acting, she had learned that the true expression of tragedy lies, not in the actress's raging on the stage, or harassing the audience with wild screams, but, on the contrary, in remaining absolutely mute and immobile when stunned by a sudden blow of fate.

 

  "I understood that a long time ago," Isadora said, "but how to have the audience too feel it in the same way the actress does? How to make the audience stop breathing? How to hold three thousand people hanging with you on that one note which you musicians mark in your scores with a fermata - meaning you can hold it as long as you like? 

  Yes, to have your audience remain breathless as long as you yourself remain on the stage mute and immobile. That is true art, and I believe at that matinee [in Paris on 8 July 1927, her last performance] I achieved it for the first time."

 

 

 

 

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