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Ruth St. Denis (In Geisha Dress)
Silver gelatin print / platinum print
6 5/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. (16.83 cm. x 11.43 cm.)
Claremont Colleges Library
Photography from the Scripps College Collection, Gift of Merle Armitage, Accession Number: PH18
Ruth St. Denis in costume for a Japanese Dance of the Genroku Period. Though this image seems to be staged rather than taken from an actual performance, St. Denis did have a number of dances in which she wore Japanese Geisha costumes. The most notable of these was "O-Mika", a ballet that tells the story of a simple courtesan who is transformed into the Japanese goddess of mercy. Unlike the majority of St. Denis' productions, "O-Mika" incorporated dialogue into its story line, forcing St. Denis to phonetically learn her lines in Japanese.