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Paris Tips: Soaring with Dalida in Montmartre

Let's meet at Place du Tertre in Montmartre, and then pay homage to pop star Dalida (Photo by T. Brack)

Let’s meet at Place du Tertre in Montmartre, and then pay homage to pop star Dalida (Photo by T. Brack)

(If you are an Instagram devotee, please leave a link below.)

By Theadora “Dancing Queen” Brack

Whenever my mood is in need of a reboot or an overhaul, I hoof it on over to Dalida. Because energy flows where obsession goes, my tête-à-tête with the high-spirited pop idol extraordinaire does the trick each and every time—especially during the fall season. With the trees boasting 24-karat autumnal hues, the blues completely vanish.

This week, I’ll take you along with me on this restorative glide. ’Tis the season!

Dalida and the trees boasting 24-karat magic in the Cimetière de Montmartre, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

Dalida and the trees boasting 24-karat magic in the Cimetière de Montmartre, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

Dear fashion plates in tow

Indeed, it’s a sublime time to engage in some outdoorsy cocooning. So don your Baker Boy caps, teddy bear coats, and checkered woolly sock booties. Whilst belting out the diva’s first two international solid gold hits, “Bambino” and “Gondolier,” we’ll scale Montmartre’s beaucoup steps, and pay homage à la mode with glee.

Missing Queen D? Send a letter to her mailbox in the Cimetière de Montmartre (Photo by T. Brack)

Missing Queen D? Send a letter to her mailbox in the Cimetière de Montmartre (Photo by T. Brack)

Dalida

On May 3, 1987, Yolanda Gigliotti, better known as Dalida, took a handful of pills, put on her sunglasses and “left our world for another,” as one fan website afterwards put it. Ever since, the house at the end of rue d’Orchampt has never felt quite the same. However, a shadowy figure is sometimes said to appear at the window, as if to greet her fans—and she certainly still has them by the millions.

Fans often leave flowers, figurines, and plaques at the Cimetière de Montmartre (Photo by T. Brack)

Fans often leave flowers, figurines, and plaques at the Cimetière de Montmartre (Photo by T. Brack)

Follow me

In addition to the house, the late diva’s life-size sculpture is in the Cimetière de Montmartre, while her bronze bust is at the junction of rues Girardon and Abreuvoir.

Take heed: Even in the pouring rain, it’s sometimes difficult to share an Instagram moment with the chanteuse at both monumentsSo while you wait for your one-on-one shot, press a reality pause, linger on the steps, and watch the lively scene. Often, devoted fans break out in impromptu sing-alongs in almost perfect harmony. My ears have heard the glory.

Dalida in the dappled sunlight at the junction of rues Girardon and Abreuvoir, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

Dalida in the dappled sunlight at the junction of rues Girardon and Abreuvoir, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

Get the look

Monsieur Alain Aslan nailed it, I’d say! Commissioned by the ’hood of Montmartre in 1997, the sculptor and pinup artist styled the starlet in a tight bright diaphanous confection with spaghetti straps. Nipped in at the waist, the maxi-dress was most likely inspired by one of Dalida’s very own closet staples, created by designers Pierre Balmain or Loris Azzaro, according to my sleuthing at the Palaïs Galliera fashion museum.

The gown was most likely inspired by one of Dalida’s very own closet staples, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

The gown was most likely inspired by one of Dalida’s very own closet staples, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

Behind the seams

Garbed also in a long, glossy 1970s scarf, Dalida not only courts my undivided attention but inspires me, too. See, it was this very silhouette that helped her make the leap from the queen of the classic ballads to the reine of the disco. Girl gone Baroque, she still shimmers like a star. Try not doing the hustle like everybody’s business while watching her first crossover hit of glittery passion, “Gigi in Paradisco.” I’d wager you can’t not do it.

Soaring with Dalida in Montmartre with Sacré Coeur in view, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

Soaring with Dalida in Montmartre with Sacré Coeur in view, sculpture by pinup artist Alain Aslan (Photo by T. Brack)

And speaking of reinvention

If you are an Instagram fanatic, please leave a link below. Always keeping my peepers peeled for misty-filtered inspiration, I’d love to visit. Pinky ring promise!

Here’s where to find more of my Paris pics: @theadorabrack

Keep on snapping. Keep on singing songs from long ago. And as Dalida once schooled Gigi, at the disco in heaven, “It’s now or never!

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37 thoughts on “Paris Tips: Soaring with Dalida in Montmartre

  1. Welcome back. 🙂 I’d just been wondering about you the other day. Thank you for the Dalida post. She had a somewhat sad, tragic life. Probably did not realize how much people loved her as many who take their own life. I only saw her bust for the first time last year, climbing to Montmartre on a different route.
    Hope all is well with you. And good luck with Winter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great to hear from you! Yes, I’m back. I’ve been working on a few projects. I’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned!

      Dalida! She is still loved. On a daily basis, beaucoup fans pay homage at both monuments in the Abbesses-Montmartre. I always get a little teary.

      Do you have a Dalida favorite tune? (I often find her records at Porte de Vanves flea market. Treasures!)

      Enjoy the week!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

      • A Dalida favourite tune? Not really. She was really my parents’ music generation. The only number that I can really remember, off hand is “Gigi l’amoroso”. (I also have an Italian friend called Gino, which makes for easy jokes…)
        Thank you for the week. Toi aussi.
        Brian

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, hello! I found you and your gorgeous collage works on Instagram! What a treat. A retreat. And thanks for your kind words. It’s wonderful to hear from you.

      Here’s the link: @creartful_dodger

      I especially love the birdie and the bright red parapluie. It made me smile!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

      • Found you too. Thank you. Yes I am working on birds and brollies at the moment. Always glad to receive positive feedback. I do so adore your posts. 😍

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh theadora so good to see you. What a lovely tribute, wonderful statute – beautiful lines. I hope you are well my friend, I’ve been thinking about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mary, hello, As always, thanks for your thoughtful words. Yes, I agree with you. Artist Alain Aslan created a lovely statue. Day and night, Dalida radiates. The Montmartre-Abbesses neighborhood still misses her. In fact, during the recent wine harvest in October, they threw a festive ball in honor of her memory. Thousands of folks attended. And danced, of course. Very moving!

      And how are you? Do you share your art and works-in-progress on I.G.?

      Have a wonderful week!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello my dear friend, it has been a long time since I’ve communicated with you. I see the news of France and think of you often. I have been missing from blogging over this past year, as my family and I are dealing with my Mothers Alzheimers and really has diverted my attention. I’m hoping to maybe paint something over the next several days during the holiday. I do have several paintings that I’ve finished, but didn’t have the enthusiasm to post them – perhaps I will. You asked if I share my works-in-progress on I.G., I’m not sure what that is – could you explain. Outside of the blog, I haven’t shared my work perhaps though once things settle down with my Mothers situation – later in 2018 maybe. How are you my friend – have you been writing much? You have such a fantastic way of expressing yourself, have you every thought of writing a script for a play or the screen, or perhaps a book? I’d be your #1 fan. Take care Theadora and Merry Christmas to you.

        Like

      • Dear Mary, hello,

        Yes, I’ve sorely missed seeing your paintings. But I completely understand. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. Care taking is time consuming, I know. However, do keep painting and posting. I’d love to see your recent or not so recent works.They’re inspiring, always. My fingers are crossed. If time permits, of course. (You asked about “I.G.” Instagram. Sorry about the short hand.)

        Stay in touch. And post. We need your art!!

        Happy Holidays to you, Mary!! (Sending big hugs, too.)
        Theadora

        Like

  3. Nice to see you back. I had to check my setting to make sure I was not missing your posts. Daida reminds me of Selena (future post) but she did not kill herself but was killed by one of her managers. Cheers! Paris must be beautiful in fall too. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, bonjour! I’m back. I’ve been juggling, juggling a few new projects. I’ll have news to share soon. Fingers and toes are crossed.

      Yes, Dalida reminds me of Selena. Celene Dion, too! Especially when she croons the ballads.

      Here’s Queen D performing a misty-eyed cover of “I Wish You Love” with the marvelous Johnny Mathis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqqDCkgJwUE

      (Are you part of the Instagram world?)

      Enjoy the week,
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, she is marvelous, especially with Johnny Mathis! Thanks for sharing the link. Fingers crossed for your next project! No, I am not part of the Instagram world.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Long time did not read your posts. In any of your posts I can find something that recalls my memories The beginning of November I spent in Paris and visited some places you mentioned in previous posts. On Rue Mouffetard I found store with french long play records. Among all of them there were about 10 Dalida’s disks. Unfortunately, It was impossible to buy them all. However all that records have brought me back to my young age when we enjoyed a lot this lovely music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s wonderful to hear from you, Alexander! I just spotted your beautiful tribute to Santa Claus. I’m looking forward to reading your Paris dispatches. Did you have a favorite day? Magical moment? I’m already looking forward to it.

      So you found a record shop on rue Mouffetard? What a fabulous area. Where was the shop located? Do you remember? Was it near the market? Ten Dalida records? Wow. Impressive. I sometimes spy the little records at the flea markets and brocantes. They’re always well-loved! Perfection.

      Again, I’m looking forward to your City of Light posts! (Are you still sharing your work on Instagram?)

      Enjoy the week!
      Theadora

      Like

      • The shop with records is close to the market and if you going from Pantheon it is on the left side of the street. The young and really nice man glad to help you with anything.
        I’ve already have three posts starting with Sweet November in Paris about last trip. But it is mostly pictures with short notices. I have a lot to say but too busy with my new job and home projects.
        Anyway, I am planning to write a little bit about lovely restaurant Le Grand Colbert, Père-Lachaise cemetery, and just about walking around.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alexander, I’m looking forward to your post about Le Grand Colbert. What a beauty. I think the restaurant is located in the Galerie Vivienne. Another stunner, built in the early 1800s.

        I’ve always enjoyed Henry Miller’s quotes about walking in Paris. Here’s one. “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware: joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware!”

        I completely agree.
        T.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Theadora.
        It wasn’t Paris if I did not have rain there. Full week long there was amazing weather and at the last afternoon while we had lovely quiet promenade along Rue Mouffetard it came. We bought umbrella and enjoyed the light shower. But it did not last long and in half an hour disappeared. HoweverI documented this event. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • YES. I completely agree. Paris + Rain = Bliss.

        And now I’m humming the theme song from the movie: “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.”

        Beautiful shot, Alexander!
        T.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thanks for swell words! By the way, I’ve been enjoying following your GREAT shots on Instagram. Thanks for the daily inspiration! And encouragement, too. I always look forward to spotting one of your photos in my I.G. feed. It’s true.

      Here’s the link: @killingtimewithacamera

      Merci!
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There were shadows in the corners of the little house in Paris. One by one she lit many candles banishing the twilight. The vintage disco ball caught slivers of light and scattered them around the room. Crystal clinked. The Victrola filled the room with song. They were toasting Dalida. Gigi In Paradise played. They danced with wild abandon. Theadora, the Tin Man and the woman in the little house in Paris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A vintage disco ball! My eye often spies them t the Porte de Vanves Flea Market. I now have three in my collection. Chipped in all the right places. As always, thank you for such a divine passage, Virginia. It’s wonderful to spend some time with you and the Tin Man, too. (I miss the Tin Man’s travel posts!!)

      Enjoy the day!
      Theadora

      Like

  6. 1000 MERCI, Miss Brack! <"3 I've always loved her songs and did feel sorry for her, as a woman… you already know that VERY few Americans have ever heard of Dalida… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merci, Mélanie! Yes, I’m also a fan of Dalida’s ballads and disco tunes, too. Trying to spread the word. Queen D.’s early videos are adorable. Fabulous garb. Fabulous connection with the camera.

      Enjoy the evening!
      T.

      Like

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