The Temple Dancer dances her way into oblivion. As she dances, she wears black patent shoes with very high, very thin heels. These shoes exaggerate all her movements: they seem spider-like; they have a grotesque delicacy; their shadows lunge across the floor. Aside from the shoes, she wears stockings and a veiled hat. The nipples of her small breasts are tinged with red. Her Mound of Venus, above her vaginal lips, glistens with perfumed oils. This is an ancient Hindu dance, the Odissi. It was banned during the British Raj, because of its erotic nature. Now, a famous Hindu dancer—played, of course, by Yasmeen—revives the dance, with a modern twist, bringing it to an unfathonable conclusion.

These are preliminary studies for a series of photos which will illustrate the story,

See also The Queen of Las Vegas, a novel I wrote about Yasmeen, and Kali, an illustrated story.


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