Burmese dancing girl
Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a Burmese dancing girl, taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. This is a full-length studio portrait of the girl, posed in costume against a painted backdrop. She stands in an attitude taken from Burmese dance, which was derived from the movements of Burmese marionettes and Thai classical dance forms. She wears a ceremonial costume featuring a naga-headed crown, a hta-mein (wrap-around skirt) and velvet slippers. It is possible that she may be a princess, as the costumes usually worn by dancers originated at the royal courts. The flaring panels of her dress derive from the special ceremonial robes adorned with gold embroidery, sequins, gold, silver and gems reserved for royalty.