Dance marathons: performing American culture of the 1920s by Carol Martin

By Carol Martin

This penetrating research of 1 of the main impressive fads ever to strike the USA info how dance marathons manifested a effective from of drama. among the 2 international wars they have been a phenomenon within which working-class humans engaged in emblematic struggles for survival. fighting to live longer than different contestants, the dancers was hoping to turn into extraordinary. there has been crippling exhaustion and affliction one of the contenders, yet finally it was once the coupling of genuine discomfort with staged screens that made dance marathons a countrywide craze.

Within the well-controlled house of theatre, they published genuine life’s unpredictability and inconsistencies, and, certainly, the frightful elements of social Darwinism. during this ugly theatrical atmosphere we see additionally a frightening metaphor―the in poor health state grappling with tricky times.

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Extra info for Dance marathons: performing American culture of the 1920s and 1930s

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Alma Cummings and other marathon dancers danced these dances. Their reliance on multiple partners and choice of dance as an expressive medium indicate that they were very familiar with the new style of public heterosexual behavior.

Some bold deed performed lone-handed, some spectacular and unexampled feat, some service to a cause worthwhile but hitherto quiescent, leaps out at us in giant headlines. Charles Mertz, The Great American Band Wagon: A Study of Exaggerations (1928) In a nonstop flurry of foxtrot, one-step, and waltz, Alma Cummings set the first dance marathon record in the United States. m. , Cummings achieved her twenty-seven-hour victory at the dingy Audubon Ballroom at 168th Street and Broadway in New York and stole the record first established in Great Britain.

Hal J. Ross: Cunning, Smart, and Slick 87 6. The National Endurance Amusement Association 111 7. Unnegotiable Realities 129 Appendix 147 Notes 161 Sources 171 Index 177 Page ix Illustrations Treating injuries in a marathon "hospital" 29 Billy Curts shaving on the dance floor 32 Annie Oger and Clyde Hamby dance a specialty dance. 41 Jewell Yohstock and Arnold Ehling in a cellophane wedding 43 Burlesque and vaudeville sketches 44 "Frozen alive" was another special entertainment. 45 Winning and losing as theatre 46 Even the floor judge turned his anger into a rehearsed theatrical display.

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