Dancing till Dawn: A Century of Exhibition Ballroom Dance

By Julie Malnig | Go to book overview
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viol. The act was organized so that their musical numbers neatly framed the De Marcos' dancing--first a series of their trademark tangos and other Spanish-based ballroom dances, and then an elegant waltz rendition with a whirlwind finish. 55 The De Marcos were one of several teams who ushered in the popular ballroom-adagio dance--a smooth, seamless style of exhibition ballroom work characterized by breathtaking leaps and lifts. It was a type of ballroom dance that would reemerge with full force in the late thirties and early forties, during the second heyday of exhibition ballroom dance.

See Douglas Gilbert, American Vaudeville: Its Life and Times ( New York: Dover Publications, Inc." 1940), pp. 120-123; Robert W. Snyder, The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 30-33, 150-152; and Shirley Staples, Male-Female Comedy Teams in American Vaudeville: 1865-1932 ( Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1984), pp. 94, 127, 178.
Robert C. Toll, On With the Show ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), ~.' 273; Alfred L. Bernheim, "The Facts of Vaudeville," Equity News 9 ( November 1923): 33-40, in Charles W. Stein, American Vaudeville As Seen By Its Contemporaries ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984).
"Town Topics Proves to Be Biggest of Shows," The New York Morning Telegraph, 24 August 1915 (Ned Wayburn scrapbook, MWEZ, 21,063, BRTC). For the occurrence of the same phenomenon in the twenties, see "Dance Salon in [George] White's Theatre," The [New York] News, 27 December 1923 (George White scrapbook MWEZ, 22, 852, BRTC).
"Gertrude Hoffmann Will Give Tango Tea," Cleveland News, 20 January 1914 (Evelyn Nesbit scrapbook, MWEZ, 24,271, BRTC).
"Audience May Participate," New York Telegraph, 13 November 1913 (Vera Maxwell Clipping File, Robinson Locke Collection, BRTC).
Maurice and Walton and the Dolly Sisters, for instance, often performed on the same bill. See Program, B. F. Keith's, Week of March 1916 (Theatre Programs of Performances Given in New York City, BRTC).
See Sime, "Palace," Variety, 14 November 1914, p. 20, for a good example of the kind of language used by vaudeville critics to describe a desirable act.
See The Chicago Herald, 17 September 1914.
George Burns and Cynthia Hobrait Lindsay, I Love Her, That's Why ( New York: Simon and Shuster, 1955), p. 59.
Most of the major teams of the period named dances after themselves, such as the Castle Walk, the Clifford Trot, Maurice's Tango, etc.
Castle, Castles in the Air, p. 101.
The New York Dramatic Mirror, 21 October 1914.
Program, Palace Theatre, Week of 12 January 1914 (Theatre Program of Performances Given in New York City, BRTC).


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Dancing till Dawn: A Century of Exhibition Ballroom Dance


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