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October 2012

Scene4 Magazine - Salome's Lament | Griselda Steiner | October 2012 | www.scene4.com

Griselda Steiner

Lyric from the musical "HYPATIA" 

"HYPATIA" is a musical that takes place on a turn-of the-century opera stage when the Old Diva visits on the day of its demolition.  She mourns the deaths of the tragic opera heroines she portrayed, Carmen (from "Carmen" by Bizet); Azucena (from "Il Trovatore" by Verdi); The Queen of The Night (from "The Magic Flute" by Mozart); Violetta (from "La Traviatta" by Verdi); and Salome (from "Salome" by Strauss).

When she trips on a trap door, she dreams that Hypatia, Crown Priestess of Destiny, takes her heroines on a journey to change their plots and become Destiny's Handmaidens in a better future. Each Heroine sings a lament, confronts her composer, is redeemed and then raised to a realm of archetypical power.

SALOME'S LAMENT

Center stage is a headless, larger than life, statue of John the Baptist.  Over his shoulders are draped Salome's seven veils.
Salome enters the stage naked carrying a silver platter holding John The Baptist's head. 
She does the Dance of the Seven Veils in reverse, dancing in seven circles around the Baptist's body, each time putting on a new veil.
At the end of her dance, Salome tries to put the Baptist's head on his neck, then falls at the statute's feet and kisses them.

SALOME

JOHN THE BAPTIST'S HEAD
MY GIFT FROM HEROD
HIS LIPS STILL
HIS EYES SEALED
PRISONER, BEHEADED, DEAD

RED THE SILVER WHERE HE BLED
NO MORE SERMONS
NO MORE CRIES
OH MY FOOL - IOKANAAN DIES

I DANCE I DANCE DANCE
I DANCE I DANCE DANCE
MY SKIN SHINES
THE DRUMS BEAT
GOLD STAR BEADS CHAIN MY TWISTING FEET

LOOK MY MOTHER'S GLARE
PIERCES BLUE SMOKED MYRRH
MY BACK ARCHED
MY ARMS CURVE
CIRCLING MEN'S YEARNING STARES

ONE BY ONE OFF MY VEILS
HEROD'S HEART WAILS
HIS EYES LIT WITH FIRE
HIS SECRET HELL, DESIRE

I DANCE I DANCE DANCE
I DANCE I DANCE DANCE
MY SKIN SHINES
THE DRUMS BEAT
GOLD STAR BEADS CHAIN MY TWISTING FEET

MOTHER FEARED JOHN'S CRIES
DENYING TRUTH FOR LIES
JOHN'S TEMPTING
BARED MY SOUL
HE NAMED ME SINNER - SO FOUL

I WANT JUST ONE CHANCE
MY JOHN SEE ME DANCE
YOU'D TOUCH ME
YOU'D TAKE MY BODY AND LOVE ME

I KISS HIS LIPS, A BITTER KISS

I DANCE I DANCE DANCE
I DANCE I DANCE DANCE
MY SKIN SHINES
HE DRUM BEATS
GOLD STAR BEADS CHAIN MY TWISTING FEET

Painting by Gaston Bussière (1914)

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©2012 Griselda Steiner
©2012 Publication Scene4 Magazine

gsphoto-crs
Griselda Steiner is a poet, dramatist and free-lance writer living in New York City. A member of the Playwrights and Directors Unit of the Actors Studio from 2007 through 2009, she has written the play MARY M and the MAD PROPHET, the musical HYPATIA and screenplay THE GODDESS IN EXILE.
For more of her writing and articles, check the Archives

 

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