Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Papinta, Theodore C. Marceau (1860-1922).  NYPL Digital Collections

These vaudeville & burlesque photographs are great fun to look at.  Here's Papinta, the Flame Dancer.  Papinta performed in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  She died on stage in Germany, in 1907.  Her Flame Dance was captured on film by Thomas Edison, and she danced in the first electrified stage performance in 1897.  She did her own choreography, and her dances featured the use of voluminous lengths of fabric. Other dances she was known for include the Danse Serpentine, the Mirror Dance, the Dream of Light & the Study in Red. The photograph is beautifully hand colored, giving it a dreamy, painterly effect.

Papinta was a favorite on the New York Stage. In October of 1902, one audience must have been disappointed.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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