Film: 7628

Dance | 1940 | Sound | B/W


Huge billboard outside a dance hall, announcing the big bands and the times - letters 'Ham..' can just be seen - this is exterior of Hammersmith Palais. The crowds pass in silhouette in front, some in armed forces uniforms, high angle of queues paying at the box office, cloakroom signs, huge ballroom, dancers are in couples moving together. Close up of couples dancing, many uniforms. Shot in World War Two or just after, this is a wartime dance. Soldiers dancing. The couples look pretty serious, some couples are only women dancing together, close up of legs and feet, low angle looking up at couples, some fancy footwork with the girl in gold strappy sandals, more and more couples pass by (perhaps a two minute sequence of dance hall).
Repeat shots of the dance hall scenes with the waltz. Massed dancers in couples. The couples are packed together. Group dance which is unique to the venue, a novelty dance, the Palais Glide, at the Hammersmith Palais which danced in lines side by side and gets progressively faster till he dancers cannot keep up. Shots from behind with arms around waists. They stop and clap. Exhibition dancers descend a staircase to a dance floor. They dance a waltz with fancy moves. She has a long white dress, there are huge crowds sitting watching, and a dance band in one corner. Close up of watching faces. Close up of the couple. Close up of sitting spectators looking wistful (one and a half mins). Six couples do a jive or jitterbug, the men have numbers on their backs. The music is more just jazz. Judges watch with the crowd. Good lively dancing. (2 mins) The crowds clap along and clap after. Zulu (?) dancing, grass costume with the body paint. Drum beat and frenetic pulse dancing. Repeat shots of the spears and war dance.

Extract from our cat no 014849

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