In 1996, Canada’s dance archive and museum, Dance Collection Danse, received a gem of a donation. The famous (and risqué for the time) Salomé costume worn by one of modern dances founding figures, Maud Allan, was donated, along with other accompanying artifacts, by Felix Cherniavsky, whose father and two uncles toured with Maud as the Cherniavsky Trio. Allan, a native of Toronto, first wore the costume in 1906 and by 1908 was taking London, England, by storm, giving over 250 performances. The costume spawned a Salomania craze that led to dance imitators and a variety of unique merchandise.
Between February 2012 and February 2014, the iconic costume underwent treatment to conserve it to its current sparkling state where it is now the focal point of the exhibit Maud Allan: An Edwardian Sensation. Katelyn Roughley curated the collection of Salomé artifacts and shares some of the experience of bringing this influential character and her defining costume back to life.
Maud Allan: An Edwardian Sensation is on display at Dance Collection Danse in Toronto until April 14, 2017.