Andrea Deagon's Raqs Sharqi
Photo Gallery 3

This is Fritzi Schaffer, about whom I know nothing.  Her costume is very similar to Maud Allan's, so I imagine she's a vaudeville Salome, somewhere between 1908 and 1912.  Her pose is very "revealed" as opposed to revealing, and her expression is very pensive.  This is one of the barer Salome costume's I've seen, lacking even armbands, and that's interesting in light of her portrayal of character in the pose -- as if she's calling up some sort of innocence and victimhood rather than the rapaciousness the character can be shown with.  She doesn't seem particularly accessible, despite how revealed she is.


Boo! Salome, in a 1906 German production of Wilde's 1894 play.  If she's meant to be dancing here, are some of the fabrics that drape her veils, to be removed?  Or has she already removed them all?  Or (more likely), is this just a pose the actress assumed to convey the essential vampishness of the infamous Jewish Princess?  But it's almost comic in effect.  Wilde's Salome could almost be interpreted that way -- the repetitive nature of the phrasing struck some people as funny when it was first published.  You can see their point -- it's right on the edge.  Salome the character is very passionate but in such a clueless, perverse way -- childish, in fact, which may actually mean that this pose has some insight behind it.  Or not ...

Nina Barkis as Salome.  This was evidently a popular postcard series, as I've seen a number of them on the market.  I wonder about the background -- is it a backdrop, or an elaborate set?  Oriental splendor is implied by a (rather ratty looking) carpet and that divan behind her.  One might notice that there is virtually no back to Ms. Barkis' costume.  The fabric seems to be a long straight-cut veil attached at the shoulders and doubled up to be held overhead.  It looks light and might have moved very well.


Nina colorized.  Now her drapery has been dropped to the floor, and she's wielding a sword.  A sword?  I can only think it's the sword that will be used to decapitate John the Baptist -- not that Salome does it herself, in even the seamiest version of the tale.  Interesting that she has a straight sword rather than a scimitar -- maybe availability played a role in it, or I would have expected the orientalizing touch.

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