Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Elisabeth Marbury looks back at the Castles

Vernon and Irene Castle

The Castles were news items in themselves. Her photographs were lovely, and there were so many of them taken that there was never any difficulty in finding fresh space for their appearance.

Irene Castle's charm was extraordinary. Her body was lithe and graceful, her swanlike neck suggested the highest distinction, her features and coloring were beautiful. Her limbs, ankles and feet were perfect. No imitator of Irene Castle, and there were many, came within her class. She was unique in gifts and stood alone in attraction.

Vernon Castle, however, had the talent as a dancer. His wife was always his perfect partner, but it was he who set the pace, it was he who inspired the rhythm, it was he who invented the steps. 

Together they made a wonderful team, and although there have been hundreds of couples who, following after them, have achieved a certain fame and notoriety in ball-room exhibition dancing, the Castles were never equalled, let alone excelled, neither have they ever been replaced.

(Elisabeth Marbury, My Crystal Ball; Reminiscences. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1932, chapter 48.)

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