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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

was drunk, and stumbling upstairs. If he was too
far gone we would chase him out. Sometimes he
would make terribles noises and frighten the old
ladies in the class. Everyone suspected that I had
a good figure and they asked me to take my clothes
off and dance. I said that I did not know any
dances but they said that it did not matter. I still
had feelings of modesty but, being inordinately vain
and proud of my figure, one day I took off all my
clothes. Somebody played Debussy's " Golliwog's
Cakewalk " on the piano and I improvised a dance.
This was a great success and so was the figure. I
danced for them two or three times a week. Every-
one was charming and the old ladies brought me
flowers. Zadkine and Modigliani drew as I danced.
A German lady asked me to sit and carved a little
statue in wood of me. I have forgotten her name,
but she was quite talented in the Munich style.
She did busts and painted them, including the eyes—
rather like the archaic Greek sculptures.
Basil was a great friend of Isadora Duncan's. He
told her about me. I did not want to dance and
only pranced about for fun and to be admired.
Wassilieff said that I was " Gothic." One day
Hunt Diederich and his wife gave a party. They
had some Russians who played balalaikas and sang.
I danced to the balalaikas. I started by dancing in
a veil and then took it off. A French millionaire was
there and he wanted me to dance in a cabaret. I
refused. I sat for Hunt and he did a frieze round a
lampshade of me dancing round it in different atti-
tudes. The millionaire consoled himself by buying
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