Their surprisingly enduring theme song reduced their popularity to an easily graspable binary formula:
She was a little bit country. He was a little bit rock and roll.
From 1985 to 1986, Marie served as actor Jack Palance’s cohost on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a TV series exploring strange occurrences, bizarre historical facts, and other such crowd-pleasing oddities… one of which was apparently the aforementioned European avant-garde art movement, founded a hundred years ago this week.
If you don’t know as much about Dada as you’d like, Ms. Osmond’s brief primer is a surprisingly sturdy introduction.
No cutesy bootsy, easy references to melting clocks here.
Lose the yellow bathrobe and she could be a captive warrior princess on Game of Thrones, fiercely petitioning the Mother of Dragons on behalf of her people. (Invent some subtitles for extra Dada-inflected fun!)
A sharp eyed young art student named Ethan Bates did catch one error in Marie’s lesson. The ’13’ costume she pulls from a handy dressing room niche was not worn by Hugo Ball, but rather Dutch painter Theo Van Doesburg, one of the founders of the De Stijl movement.
Still you’ve got to hand it to Marie, who was slated to perform just a single line of the poem. When it came time to tape, she abandoned the cue cards, blowing producers’ and crew’s minds by delivering the poem in its unhinged entirety from memory.
Now that’s rock and roll.
Below you’ll find footage of Ball himself performing the work in 1916.