A hundred years ago she was a theatrical dance sensation. A Lady Gaga or Madonna of her day she rocked Europe with her fusion of Balinese music, explicit sexuality and innovative dance. The press went wild. Princes, generals and politicians courted her for her erotic sensuality. In many ways she represented the first expression of liberated female sexuality, fifty years before the feminism of the sixties. And her Indonesian roots appealed to a new interest in ethnic world music. Her stage name was the Indonesian for 'sun' - Eye of the Day.
But Margarethe Zelle wasn't Indonesian. An abused wife of a drunken Dutchman, she had reinvented herself in the Dutch Indonesian colonies. And then World War I came along. Thanks to her celebrity and her neutral Dutch status, she could travel between London, Paris and Spain. And that's when the attention of generals and politicians became her downfall. Caught up in the spying intrigues of the Great War, she was denounced as a double agent, and shot by a French firing Squad in Paris in 1917. Refusing to wear a blind fold, she dressed in one of her famous costumes for the execution, and leapt forward into the volley of shots like one last dance.
In Indonesian, Eye of the Day is Mata Hari. A name that has unfairly become a by word for female duplicity and esponiage. Prior to the releasing of her secret files (in 2017) the show will prove Mata Hari was no spy, but an innocent victim of a set up and political intrigue.
A dance based musical, inspired by the rhythms of Gamelan music, EYE OF THE DAY is a musical about sexuality and war, ethnic fusion and role playing, and (like Carmen) of male jealousy and female freedom. .