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Scheherazade Ballet Image - Arabian Nights

History on a Shirt posts

Picture the perfumes of Arabia, fragrant odors of musk and ambergris, gardens of a hundred different delights, rare and radiant damsels, trees laden with jewel-fruits, magic lamps, birds singing gloriously by crystal fountains, pearls, rubies, diamonds, ivory, and gold, Ali Baba, Aladdin, Sindbad, Harun er-Rashid, viziers, executioners, dervishes, genies/djinni, and of course princes and princesses. 

They say she told a tale each night, for a thousand and one nights, to the king who feared no woman could be faithful, who executed each wife after the wedding night, except Scheherazade. Each night she left the tale unfinished, so the king, in his curiosity, could not kill her.

Persia was a latticed window into the fascinating mysteries of the Orient. But Russia, too, is a blend of of East and West, so Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888 was a fitting composer to interpret that enchantment in music in Scheherazade. The music has been widely used in the performing arts, from ballet to ice dancing. 

This image, based on an original design for a ballet certificate, recognizes both the elegance and the strength of the dancer, and mirrors the pose of the dancer in a curve suggesting both the architecture of Middle-Eastern minarets and Russian onion-domes. 

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