ANITA BERBER PROJECT

19XX. Berlin. Home to the most progressive and subversive artistic scene in Europe. Into this whirling creative atmosphere there came a performing artist who defied convention, tested the limits of artistic expression, and shattered the norms of acceptable behavior: Anita Berber. She was abandoned by her aristocratic, classical violinist father. Her mother, a minor actress and singer, frequently left Anita in order to pursue her own ambitions. From the time she was a teenager, she chased her dream to become a celebrated artist. She rose to dizzying heights, creating dramatic, erotic, powerfully unique work. Openly bisexual and positively fearless, she was a woman whose voracious appetite for experience intoxicated and destroyed those who came within her orbit.

 
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Co-Creator and PERFORMER TOnya Kay.

Co-Creator and PERFORMER TOnya Kay.

TONYA KAY, Co-creator and performer

Tonya Kay is a dancer, actress, and comedian with extensive experience and training in all three fields. Her, mastery of dance, specialty arts and stunts has sold out Madison Square Garden twice and she has the broken bones, burns and scars to prove it.

Her daredevil skills have been featured in STOMP (Broadway), De La Guarda (Las Vegas), as well as many performances in film and television. She has performed with icons Rhianna, Bruno Mars, Rob Zombie, and Neil Patrick Harris.

Her physical specialties include: trained dance, grinder girl, precision bullwhip, fire arts, knife throwing, pole dance, flag dance, side show, giant martini glass, on-camera stunts 

To Tonya Kay, movement is honesty and the body tells no lies.

Asked why Anita captivates her, Tonya replies: “Anita Berber got away with it!  She subverted a fascist system by giving the middle finger to socio-sexual standards … using nothing but her body and talent.  Only a revered professional dancer of her renegade spirit could bring naked dancing, public exhibitionism, untethered bi-sexuality, kink domination, and women’s financial liberation to the art world in a way that left aristocrats celebrating the new “wild woman” and opening bourgeois minds to these truly feminist principals.  

Not everyone spoke highly of my great grandmother, but they spoke of her. She was the rule-breaker of my lineage’s 1920s.  Every time I perform burlesque today, I do it for the rule breakers. Society still tells us we “can’t” or aren’t “allowed” until we do. Anita Berber showed us how to get away with it.”

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