Saharet

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Saharet
Saharet 2.jpg
Born Australia
Years active 1896 - 1917

Saharet was an Australian- born dancer who made her New York City debut in February 1897.[1] She performed in vaudeville music houses as well as in Broadway productions, in the United Kingdom and in Europe, earning considerable fame and notoriety.[2]

Origins[edit]

By her own account she was born in Melbourne, Australia on March 24, 1879. During her career her birth name was variously given as Clarissa Campbell or Clarice Campbell. It was also claimed she had been born in Ballarat and had appeared on stage in Australia as a juvenile.[3] However, as Australian theatre historian Leann Richards has noted, there are no records matching her birth or her residence in Australia.[2] It is unclear when her family moved to the United States, but by age 16 she was working as a burlesque dancer in New York, where she married theatrical agent Ike Rose.

Entertainer[edit]

Saharet performs the Boléro (1905)

Following the birth of a daughter in 1897, she appeared as Saharet for the first time at Koster & Bial's[4] Music Hall, 34th Street (Manhattan), Herald Square, New York City,[5] along with a troupe of whirlwind dancers, and Adele Purvis-Onri. According to Leann Richards, the highlight of her short turn was doing the splits. Her onstage audacity combined with a risqué element, charmed audiences and earned her considerable fame.[2][4] In a show billed Gayest Manhattan, Saharet admirably danced a French quadrille.[6]

In 1897, she appeared at the Palace Theatre, London, when her Australian roots were reported in Australian newspapers for the first time.[7][2] Returning to New York, theatrical producer, E.E. Rice, obtained her services for The French Maid with one reviewer describing Saharet as an "India rubber lady" in her rendition of a "dislocation dance".[8][9] In September 1897 she danced at the Olympia Roof Garden.[10] The French Maid was presented in October by the Herald Square Theatre, a Theatre which also hosted a thirtieth annual benefit to aid the charity fund of New York Lodge #1 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in November. Saharet volunteered her time, as did Anna Held and Ross and Fenton, among others.[11] She helped raise money for the mother and widow of William Hoey at the Herald Square in December.[12]

Writer Jim Steinmeyer suggests that Saharet's rise to fame owed much to Ike Rose's management of her act. Saharet's 1898 tour of Europe established her as a star, for while Rose demanded a high salary or arranged a percentage deal, a string of publicity stunts also attracted crowds to see her."A competent dancer...by the time Ike Rose was finished marketing her charms, she was one of Europe's classical beauties."[13]

Saharet toured with Held as a special feature during the 1902 season.[14] In April 1903 she danced at the Circle Theatre, Broadway,[15][16] before departing on another tour of Europe.[15]

She was the star of a show at the American Music Hall, West, Manhattan,[17][18] in March 1909, and was summoned to return by several curtain calls.[17]

At the height of her fame, between 1905 and 1914, she appeared as herself in several short films.

Artists' Model[edit]

Artist Franz von Stuck (1863 - 1928) painted Saharet in a painting which hangs in the Landesmuseum in Oldenburg, Germany.[19] In the portrait she has light blue eyes and brown hair. She is wearing a crimson jacket, white skirt, and red slippers. There is a red rose in her hair and her dress is abundant in lace and embroidery. Saharet has on a series of long necklaces with pendants.[20] Another painting was done by Franz von Lenbach[21]

Marriages[edit]

Following her divorce from Ike Rose, Saharet married Fritz von Frantzius, banker, broker, and art critic in 1913. They were very publicly divorced six months later.[22] She married another theatrical agent, Max Lowe, in 1917, after which she apparently retired[2]

Her later life and fate is unknown.

Filmography[edit]

  • 1897: Saharet
  • 1905: Saharet, Boléro
  • 1912: Des Lebens Würfelspiel
  • 1912: In a Golden Cage
  • 1912: Hexenfeuer
  • 1913: Mimosa-san
  • 1914: On the Altar of Patriotism

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Notes Of The Week", New York Times, 14 February 1897, pg. 11.
  2. ^ a b c d e Saharet at the History of Australian Theatre Archive, compiled by Leann Richards. Accessed 19 July 2017
  3. ^ Daily Herald, Mon 3 Feb 1913, Page 2, "Two Strange Visitors; Saharet's identity explained" Accessed 19 July 2017
  4. ^ a b "New Variety Attractions", New York Times, 16 March 1897, pg. 9.
  5. ^ Koster & Bial (Reason): American Treasures of the Library of Congress
  6. ^ "Notes Of The Week", New York Times, 4 April 1897, pg. 16.
  7. ^ Sunday Times, Sun 7 Nov 1897, Page 2 "Who Saharet Is" Accessed 20 July 2017
  8. ^ "The Drama", New York Times, 17 October 1897, pg. SM12.
  9. ^ "Theatrical Gossip", New York Times, 10 July 1897, pg. 7.
  10. ^ "Theatrical Gossip", New York Times, 5 September 1897, pg. 18.
  11. ^ "Theatres", New York Times, 7 November 1897, pg. 11.
  12. ^ "The Hoey Benefit Popular", New York Times, 3 December 1897, pg. 7.
  13. ^ Jim Steinmeyer (2005) The Glorious Deception; The Double Life of William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo, the Marvelous Chinese Counjurer page 202, Carroll and Graf Publishers, New York. ISBN 978-0-78671-770-5
  14. ^ "Gossip Of The Theatres", New York Times, 11 August 1902, pg. 7.
  15. ^ a b "In Vaudeville", New York Times, 19 April 1903, pg. 26.
  16. ^ Cinema Treasures | Circle Theatre
  17. ^ a b "The Vaudeville Theatres", New York Times, 16 March 1909, pg. 9.
  18. ^ "Display Ad 26--No Title", New York Times, 17 March 1909, pg. 18.
  19. ^ The dancer Saharet. - Franz von Stuck
  20. ^ "In The World Of Art And Artists", New York Times, 9 June 1907, pg. SMA6.
  21. ^ "The Regnant Wave Of The Sensational Dance", New York Times, 23 August 1908, pg. SM7.
  22. ^ von Frantzius died of heart disease at the age of 54. He was born in Sawdin, West Prussia, and left an estate worth $11,250,000 when he died in January 1917. See "F. von Frantzius Dies; Left $11,250,000", New York Times, 9 January 1917, pg. 3.

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