What I Saw

22 Mar 2024

Émile Deschamps

The French periodical LeTour du Monde 1897, in an extensive article by Émile Deschamps, has some interesting and very colourful snapshots of dancing during the feast of Kataklysmos in Larnaca, which focuses on the social status of professional dancers on the island:

One of the centres of greatest attractions is a large tent, fairly beautiful and clean at the entrance of which - merely a drawn piece of cloth- people crowded to listen to the songs and see the dancing of a miserable little girl of thirteen dressed as a ballerina; she flung herself on stage like a consummate street artist. She is an Armenian delivering lewd Turkish songs; there was a painful contrast between her self-confidence, her youth, her small bosom, her rebellious childish eyes and her confident, experienced movements already assured and happy of the impression she made on her public.

L’Isle de Chypre: types et moeurs, la fête de Venus a Larnaca, Claude Sosthene Grasset d'Orcet

© Costas and Rita Severis Foundation

The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.

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