Painted circa 1905, Danseuse aux bijoux (Anita) dates from the very height of Kees van Dongen's Fauvism. It was only truly the previous year that he had begun to explore in more extreme ways the potential use of colour in a group of works that straddles Neo-Impressionism and the Fauve. However, by the time of the infamous 1905 Salon d'Automne, which came to lend the Fauves their name, he had developed a far more extreme manner of rendering the world around him. Not only had Van Dongen consolidated his skills, but he was being lent increasing kudos by the recognition he was gaining from those around him. This was only increased in 1905, when he moved into the now notorious Bâteau-Lavoir, taking a room next to Picasso's and becoming friends with many of the most avant garde artists active in Paris at the time. Under many combined influences, Van Dongen was eschewing many of his earlier, more Impressionist-influenced techniques, as is evident in the brushwork in Danseuse aux bijoux (Anita), which is far less dappled than that which had featured in many of his previous works. Likewise, his use of colour, especially the daring green to show the dancer's front, is truly Fauve in its effect. This green takes to an extreme limit Matisse's Fauve portrait, Madame Matisse, La raie verte of 1905, where the artist had articulated the shade on his wife's face with the use of a green line so prominent that it became part of the title, yet was completely effective in giving the correct impression of shape and shadow. In Danseuse aux bijoux (Anita), Van Dongen's use of green is highly evocative of the shade in the room, and manages still to portray a warm sense of the flesh upon which the shadow is playing. It does not appear at all as incongruous as it should, the true mark of the Fauvist depiction's success.
Creating an even more intense interplay of colour, Van Dongen has highlighted the green of the dancer's abdomen is by contrasting it with the red of her dress, creating two key fields of contrasting paint. These are themselves thrown into bold relief by the background, which is painted in colours that appear remarkably restrained for a Fauve. This use of more 'normal' background tones was a technique that Van Dongen often used in order to emphasise the play of colours at the forefront of his work. He would emphasise the central motif by creating a heightened contrast between it and the background. In Anita en Almée, another painting of Anita, Van Dongen's favourite model between 1905 and 1908, executed a few years later, he has instead used a dark background to thrust the lighter colours of the dancer into the foreground, whereas in Danseuse aux bijoux (Anita) he has chosen a light wall to highlight the dancer's shaded torso.
It was not only the colours in Van Dongen's work that made him a Fauve, but also the subject matter itself. Van Dongen himself wrote of his art that 'A certain immodesty is truly a virtue, as is the absence of respect for many respectable things' (Van Dongen, quoted in G. Diehl, Van Dongen, New York, 1969, p. 52). Here, he has affronted the 'respectable' viewer both in style and content. The image of Anita laughing, carefree and half naked, is overtly sexual and implies overt sexuality. The bijoux referred to in the title are mostly by her side, discarded. This and her posture imply that she is probably undressing, perhaps after a performance. She seems to be doing so partly with the entertainment and titillation of her viewer, the painter, in mind. In this way, Van Dongen not only reveals a world that he inhabits, a world of wildness and few inhibitions, but also places the viewer in the midst of it. There is a deep sense not only of the erotic, but even of the exotic in this work, a sense that the artist would explore in other works, for instance Odalisque couchée of 1909, through overt references to the Oriental. The sensuality of Danseuse aux bijoux (Anita) is accentuated by the artist's palpable enthusiasm for his subject matter: he is not merely viewing the scene and rendering it in oils. Instead, the act of painting itself was for Van Dongen some sort of sensual interaction with his subject.