• “Eroticizing Antiquity: Madame Mariquita, Régina Badet and the Dance of the Exotic Greeks from Stage to Popular Press”

    Samuel Dorf (see profile)
    Musicology, Dance, History, Fashion, Ballet
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Costume, Dance history, Classics, Gender and sexualities, Eroticism
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    This paper explores the simultaneous eroticization and exoticization of Ancient Greece in the choreography of Madame Mariquita (1830-1922) for the Opéra and the commodification of this exotic ancient Greek eroticism in the popular fashion and music press in fin-de-siècle Paris. Building on work by art historian, Nancy Troy, and musicologist Mary Davis on the fashion press’s influence on modernist music and theater, this paper looks specifically at how a particular brand of exotic opera engaged with the popular press to create a truly multimedia cultural phenomenon that influenced musical “fashions.” Contributing to popular magazines like Musica, Comœdia Illustré, and Le Théâtre, Mariquita helped sell fantasies of the ancient world to a predominantly female readership. Mariquita and her students capitalized on the magazines’ format as they wrote articles and posed for photographs that highlighted the fashionably exotic nature of the dances they created. Operas choreographed by Mariquita, like Erlanger’s Aphrodite (1906), and the early Greek inspired works of the Ballets Russes fed the hunger for the exotic on the pages of Parisian periodicals. Including these presses into the discourse provides a tantalizing entry into how exotic Greek opera functioned within a multimedia society coming to terms with a rapidly advancing media frontier.
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    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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