Portrait of Theodore Kosloff in Dance
Dancer and choreographer Theodore Kosloff (1882-1956) trained from a young age at the Imperial School of Dance in Moscow. His fame came when he began dancing in England and France before moving on to the United States. There, he started a nationally renowned school of dance in Los Angeles and performed in several Cecil B. DeMille films. In this portrait, Kosloff is posed as a virile warrior still reveling in either the spoils of a victorious campaign or the tragic woes of defeat. With his decidedly dramatic pose, he could have come straight off of a hellenistic period vase. He wears a highly ornamented chainmail shirt and multiple leather armbands. Both legs have been painted with evocative designs and sport garters and legends. He stands with his feet wide apart, his back arched and his right arm flexed and hand clenched above his head which is tilted back. In clenching his left fist to his chest, he holds a swath of velvet that lends to the drama captured in the image. He stands in the midst of multiple souvineers all evoking priceless plundered objects taken as trophies of war: a sequin-embellished textile, a metal tankard, and several crowns.