LA SYLPHE : ACTRESS & EXOTIC DANCER : EDITH LANGERFELD : RISQUE RPPC

This vintage real photo postcard features American actress exotic dancer, La Sylphe. Her off stage name was Edith Lambelle Langerfeld (1883-1968). She attracted a great deal of attention in the 1890’s while performing at the Folies Bergere. She was born in New York City. Her father was German and her mother was Irish.Her father invented a machine used in the mining of coal. Edith was a dancer, but US laws prevented her from performing on stage due to her young age. The laws were more liberal abroad so when Edith turned six, she was taken abroad by her mother. She travelled around the world for eight years, spending the majority of her time performing in Europe. She became fluent in five language. During her second world tour, she was the primary dancer at the Alhambra Theatre in London. Next, she performed at the aforementioned Folies Bergere. Her debut in the US occurred when she was fourteen. In 1899, she introduced her rendition of “The Vision of Salome” dance. When “Salome” was banned by the Metropolitan Opera in 1907, La Sylphe’s popularity in the US soared. She named her performances “The Remorse of Salome”. She adopted the Far East body dance, otherwise known as “the houchee kouchee”. She began performing in vaudeville. She did toe dances, spanish castanet dances, muscle dances (belly dances),  and of course, the Salome dance. She also performed what she called the Devil dance. Some of her performances were risque. In one skit, her mid waist was covered by only pearls. In other performances she wore tights, picket fence skirts and a gossamer (light and thin) bodice. Her performances in New York shocked the public but the shows were tame compared to her routines in Europe. Some of her New York shows were attended by plainsclothes police officers to ensure that she did not cross over the morality boundary.. In 1919 and 1920, La Sylphe was in the cast of “George White’s Scandals”. Her performances included an Acrobatic act, as well as a Contortionist act. After 1928, she began performing in ballets. In one interview, La Sylphe expresses an interesting opinion about matrimony. In an article from “The Evening World” (1908), she states that being an old maid is a good idea. She asserts that she is going to be one. “Marriage is fine for men, but it’s rotten luck for a woman, This vintage real photo postcard was published by Philco as part of a series (No.3103A). The photo was taken by noted celebrity female photographer, Lallie Charles. (SOLD).

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