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Portrait of Ada Forman
In 1915 and 1916, Ada Forman danced with Florence O'Denishawn on tour and partnered with Ted Shawn in numerous works including Danse Javanese and Nature Rhythms. The duo also performed in exhibition ballroom performances such as Dance Vogue. She eventually left O'Denishawn to appear solo in vaudeville on the Keith-Albee circuit. Forman successfully performed in Broadway revues, roof garden shows, and in the Greenwich Village Follies of 1922. She also appeared often in London during the 1920s to great acclaim. In this portrait, she sits on the floor and gazes thoughtfully off to her left. A layered crinoline peeks out from underneath her gathered brocade lame' skirt. Her bralette is bedecked with strings of pearls leaving her midriff scandalously exposed for the time. She extends her left arm behind her and holds an ornately embellished shawl. Her left hand is dripping in jewels and her arm is sumptuously covered in thin bangle bracelets. Her right hand is poised atop her bejeweled turbaned head and holds the other end of the shawl. A thin sliver of light behind Forman's body lends depth to the composition. The highly reflective surfaces captured in dramatic lighting by Hixon invite the viewer's eye to continuously travel from point to point through the work.