Mata Hari. The world famous exotic dancer. Executed as a spy during WOI. At the beginning of the 20th Century Mata Hari hypnotized the public of Belle Epoque Paris with her exclusive dance style. A perfect composition of art, spirituality and erotica. Her success spread through Europe, with performances in the prominent theatres of Milaan, Madrid, Vienna, Monte Carlo and Berlin. She was a woman far ahead of her time. Living an adventurous and free life. Many researchers don’t believe Mata Hari was a dangerous spy and have indicated that she was trapped by the social mores of her time. For being an independent and unconventional woman she had to pay the ultimate price: with her life.
This year, exactly 100 years after Mata Hari died, Raniya brings Mata Hari’s two best known and appreciated performances ‘La Princesse et la Fleur Magique’ (‘The Princess and the Magic Flower’) and ‘L’Invocation de Shiva’ (Invocation of Shiva) back to the stage.
Raniya: dancer, dance teacher and owner of Studio Raniya. Just like Mata Hari, Raniya is a Dutch-born Oriental dancer. Her fascination and appreciation for Mata Hari began after she was asked to dance as Mata Hari for several cultural events by the Dutch Publisher (De Arbeiderspers) of world renowned author Paulo Coelho as announcement for his latest book ‘The Spy’. After reading the first translated version of Coelho’s book as preparation of the performances her curiosity aroused of what Mata Hari’s performances must have been like. This was the beginning of an intensive archival and creative research in which Mata Hari’s scrapbooks played an important role. These books (in possession of Fries Museum) full of pictures, newspaper articles, reviews and theatre programs in combination with the many performance and studio photographs of Mata Hari proven to be a magnificent source of information and reveal a lot of her unique dances and dance style.
Mata Hari by Raniya is an elegant, sensual and visually-striking performance and let you travel back in time and experience how it must be like to see Mata Hari dance.