Greetings from about a mile from where Byrne and Duncan shared their first apartment as a married couple. We’re here in Manhattan doing a little research into Byrne’s early years. I’m working on a new rewrite – with my wonderful editor Susan Kammeraad-Campbell of Joggling Board Press. I’m trying to get inside Byrne’s point of view, rather than recount the stories she told me and other “adopted” children.
So I’ve poured over all the notes and journal entries she left behind, concentrating on the little things that never made grand stories on her porch in Beaufort. Like the first crush she ever had…on a German modern dancer named Harald Kreutzberg. She wrote him fan letters and was desperate that her mother never find out because he was that outrageous. That’s him – on the reel-to-reel screen behind me at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center. He performed his “expressionism” in opening acts on the stages where Byrne would watch Saturday matinees. I’d seen pictures of him on the internet – wild, theatrical portraits that today seem vaguely homoerotic but probably weren’t then. Photos, though, can’t touch the impact of actually seeing him move. This was a dancer I would swoon over – so strange to find an almost childish connection to Byrne eleven years after she left us but there you have it. I only wish I could record some of the films and share them with you all…but it’ll be my job, and my delight…to think of the words to transport you. Wish me luck!