Dance | 1920 | Silent | Colour
Casino De Paris and Follies Bergieres. French nightclub acts.
(Appears to be running back-to-front). Dancers Kniaseff and Drosdoff in an Egyptian Dance.Illuminated on black stage, two men kneel in ancient Egyptian-type character pose. They wear loin cloths and turbans/headress. They dance together in highly dramatic and stylised way. There are lifts and jumps between them. The moves are balletic with a strong homoerotic energy to them. The dance becomes highly physical, with repeated spins and lifts. The hand and leg movements remain angular and classical in style. There is a similarity here to the style of dance found in the choreography of Vaslav Nijinsky.
The Temple of Venus.
The chorus line of the Casino de Paris are dressed in short, tight fitting shiny gold outfits. They are linked in a line and move aside with elaborate footwork to reveal posed performers behind. It is as if they are a human curtain beginning the show.
There are many women posed in short silver tunics with long shiny gold material from their shoulders to the ground. They wear silver spiked headdress'. The poses are stately and proud, they face away. In the middle stands women draped in gold fabric, looking towards the camera. She looks of regal importance, or is perhaps Venus herself.
01:02:16 (Appears to be running back-to-front). Muted colour. Excerpt of Josephine Baker Plantation Dance. A stage setting of a country scene. A painted backdrop showing cotton, flowers and trees. A three-piece band sit at the back; a saxophonist,a banjo player and a drummer. They wear overalls and sun hats.
Josephine enters in tight shorts with braces and ragged white shirt;she then performs an incredibly physical and elaborate dance sequence. She does the splits, rolls on the floor,jumps, gesticulates, claps and pulls faces. There are many clear examples of classic Charleston early swing dance moves to be seen here.
(Appears to be running back-to-front). A chorus line of girls wearing cute Pierrot -type oufits with pointed hats. They are sat on chairs
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