|Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - September 19,
Cotillion Room Echoes Inca Chant
Life is universal and language but a series of sounds which, when
uttered In expressive rhythm and tone, become an instrument of kindly
impact on the human soul.
Such was the result of the singing of Yma Sumac, descendant of Inca
kings, who thrust aside the barrier of the Peruvian language with
virtuosity, last night in the Cotillion Room of the Pierre as she
revealed a voice covering four octaves - contralto to bell-like coloratura.
Big Names Gather.
Celebrities gathered early. Jeanette MacDonald, In brown lace and
taffeta to match her tawny brown hair, hugged the rail of a terrace
table and conversed with her husband, Gene Raymond, and another couple.
Hiding like a couple of lovebirds against the terrace on the other
side were Tony and Sally DeMarco, who starred in the room a year ago
and will return soon. Sally wore a fabulous skirt of champagne Chinese
brocade, with partridge pleats and tailored black satin waist.
Connie Bennett There.
Pegeen Fitzgerald In blond hair and blond lame looked stunning at
the ringside table of Frank Paget, Pierre's managing director, with
such table companions as Mr. and Mrs. Gene Cavallero of the Coloni.
I saw Connie Bennett in trim black satin with matching evening hat.
Nanette Fabray in champagne chiffon and society's Mr. and Mrs. Otto
Hafner and Mrs. Brooks Howe.
Show time was 10 P. m., with Stanley Melba apologizing for engineering
difficulties, and Artint and Consuelo,the ballroom dancers, registering
a slight difficulty of their own when the girl busted one of the straps
of her gown on the first number.
After this interlude and a relaxing laugh, the girl from Peru appeared
in a sumptious gown of white and pink French taffeta, designed and
executed for her in Peru. It featured a low, square neckline and a
bouffant skirt highlighted with a luminous Inca motif pattern in red,
blue and green. She wore a large Inca necklace of solid gold.
It was a performance for eyes and ears, with but the, senses to act
as translator. Except for one digression, in which she sang our "Too
Young," Miss Sumac used only native songs.
And how lovely they are! And how universal, actually. When she was
a child she learned about birds in the Andes. Not being a musician
I can't adequately describe the motion of sound in the number called
"Birds." It begins in contralto, takes on the peculiar sounds
of the birds. coasts along on coloratura and ends in what I would
call a dirty trumpet howl.
They have national Peruvian rhythm songs under the general title of
"Malumbo." The one Miss Sumac sang shows the people In all
their joy. It is much like samba In rhythm, with high, penetrating
notes of ecstasy ending in a plaint to give it individuality. The
singer had native drummers on either side for further authenticity.
Stanley Melba, you will remember gave us Rosita Serrano, Chilean singer,
in another Cotillion Room season. Heis to be complimented again for
showing cafe audiences a gifted artist from Peru, who brings her concert
voice and native charm to a new circle.