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Salomé, starring the Russian-born actress Alla Nazimova, is a rarely seen artwork of film history adapted from the controversial Oscar Wilde play.

Made in 1923, Salomé loosely follows the biblical story of King Herod and his desire for his young stepdaughter. It is Salomé’s desire for Jokanaan (John the Baptist) that causes her to dance before Herod….

This production brings together a screening of the silent film with a live performance of the new score specially written for the film by Charlie Barber.

 

The music is performed by four percussionists, playing from two alloy towers on either side of the screen.  

 

Inspired by early fragments of music from Judea and Syria, this version of Salomé is dominated by an assortment of drums, tambourines, castanets,  cymbals and Tibetan singing bowls.

Salomé is a visual feast.  The stunning, art nouveau costumes and sets were designed by Natacha Rambova, and were inspired by the lavish illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley that accompanied the first edition of Wilde’s text. Along with Nazimova, they are, in many ways the stars of the film.

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