The Winnipeg Tribune from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on September 10, 1927 · Page 44
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The Winnipeg Tribune from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada · Page 44

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 10, 1927
Page 44
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l - r' THE WnCXlpEG TKint'XE MAGAZINE SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1927 Is' the Modern Dance Killing Dancing ? By Gregory Clark SCIRL. cn never forget ths tin she welched a hundred and eight. Memories of those dnye flood heaviest back upon her whan, weighing a hundred and forty, she iters out on the bHroom floor and trlra to dance as she once danced. How bulky she feels! Phe Imagines h protrudes and everybody Is colliding; with her extremities. And when she sees the youngsters round about slim, agile youngsters, who all unconscious flaunt the glories she has lost forever per - fwv!n - with undeniable grace the tlwrleete kicks and steps, wrtgelcs j realize that the modern dance, which was getting su much publicity, was frightening off a large percentage of the people who liked to dance as they liked to go walking In the countryfor pleasant companionship, haupy surroundings, escape from the hum - drum of life. The Charleston is dead. At least. lt. d - 'ath warrant has been signed and Its execution been ordered. In so far as proprietors of dance floors and orchestras and pavilions are concerned, the tricky dances are doomed. Plain, companionable, easy dances are to be boosted to the front sxaln. Even the dancinK masters are in the movement. 'pO a wrench - kneed generation, A this announcement should bring relief. Mr. H. A. Masher, a Canadian authority, does not agree that the tango Spanish touches will replace the negro shuffles and gyrations that have been popular for two yeas. "Anybody can Jig," said Mr. Mosher. "In the desire to simplify dancing It has been decided to Introduce something so simple It will win the heart of the public instantly. And that is the Jig. But we don't call it the Jig. We call It the stomp. And the Black Bottom - Stomp Is the dene" I foresee before the end of the coming season. Stomp is negro for eaxl ttekle - toe figures of the modern I dance, ihs suddenly loses courage. 1 am getting old," she whispers ta herself. And she makes her partner lead her to their table, where sha alts, Hushed and unhappy, until It la time to go home. The modern dance has den a good deal to kill dancing. The Charleston gave tremendous publicity to dancing. But It frightened tens) of thousands oft the dancing floor. 'pHE modern dance puts a pre - mlum on youth, t Two years ago ths Charleston had not arrived. The en step and fox trot were the stand - by both of ballroom and dancing pavilion. These ar (Imply walking steps. On the floor filled with people, merely walking about slowly and gracefully to happy music, even the most self - conscious of men and women could venture. Then Jazs entered the feet. Tou recall how timidly even the show - offa tried the least little bit of Charleston foot - work two winters ago. By the end of the winter, however, the difficult heel - artd - toe shuffle of the Charleston wae to be see not merely at the public dancing restaurants, but In the private house dnnces. Last winter everybody was at It that Is, everybody left on the floor. For the elder folks, the married folks, the dancing mothers had quietly disappeared. The self - conscious, the girls who hud added twenty pounds, the men who were aware of the first faint weight of dignity, were sitting out a lot of dances. 'pHE kids hud the floor. The kids and the show - offV And the proprietors of the danre floors, the dancing musters, the folks who make their living out of hardwronil nnd music, began to 'wm ww$sw mm" , . . j - .:. a , ml - fil Mm - tor EC1L DA COSTA says that as far as he can foresee, there will be three steps this winter a slow tax trot, a fast fox trot and a waits. In thes the fans, the young folk, will find room for the scope they crave for their feet but In such a way that It will not frighten off those who want merely to move about to music. There will be no set stage, as there baa been In the past season, for the tbow - off. "The majority of people who want to dance regularly," said Mr. Da Costa, "are young people. New steps are constantly In demand, as new music Is constantly In demand. But there has been an unfnlr and unpopular trend towards specialty in dancing. Even the young people found dancing too Involved and spectacular for them. "What we dancing masters have contrived Is a simplification of the new dances we are offering. The slow fox trot for this winter will be, for many, a slow fox trot. For the tans, It will be the Black Bottom, a new. Intricate and decidedly graceful series of fast nnd slow steps, to slow music, which, like the Charleston, Is of negro origin. It gets Its queer name from the place it was first found, called Black Bottom, In the Mississippi bottom lands. "The fnst fox trot will be, (o those who do not want to specialise, mere ly a rest and lively fox trot, or walking step. Hot to the fans it will have the tango touch. "And the wait a will be what it has always been, a plnln or fancy waits, as the dancers feel Inclined." Even the alders can do this. The simple step, the modest closed position as shown In this actual ballroom photograph make unaffected dnnclng as happy and companionable an exercise as a tramp through autumn fields. tamp. It will be a stamping dance. Where the Charleston had everybody shuffling the feet, the stomp will have everybody stamping the feet. It will be a Jig danoe." Mr. Da Cdsta, however, senses a revulsion from the negro qualities of the dance that have held the floor for some years. "In New York." he says, '1 noticed a decided tendency towards the tango, which Is most pre - eminently a white man's dnnee step." "JIow do the dnnclng masters explain," he was asked, "tho extraordinary popularity of netrro dances am(:sst white people?" war era, a restlessness, which demands those things In dancing which the negroes have In their dancing modified, of course. OUT the desire to escape from it l 1 '"pHE negro Is a happy, nl nnrt'ined. primitive spirit, oj'1 it Is eon - I U to wnite mnn m dancln is veyed In his music and his daneli..;. j apparent to watohera of tendencies Of course, the Charleston and thee! nic myself. This winter we are going othrr nesro iiames as they are done 0 feature a certain number of by the negro are utterly unthliikal le straight tango numbers In our proas while man's dances. But there (trams. We are also moving strnlght seems to be something In this post - back to the one step and two step In the fox trot. Wo arc cutting the Charleston for the first reason that we desire to make dnnclng more popular. But thnt reason means alao that the public does not want quite so neprold a dance." , In New Tork a dozen different schools of dancing are giving the nnvreet measure a dozen different names. The wsy these new dances ortglnute, such as the Charleston, and the Black Bottom, Is generally the same. Ann Pennlnctqn, who has been most successful tn finding and interpreting In white terms the dances of the negroes, gives her pre. sc.ntntion of the dance in stage form Then all the dance fans many of them staite - siruek, of coiiiho try io Imitate her. and evolve What is call ed a "ball - room version." All the dancing masters work out a form for popular use. The Black Bottom, as danced by Ann Pennington this season, runs under such names In New Tork as the Carolina, the Kansas City stomp, the Carolina strut, tM j Black Bottom stomp, the Black Bot ; torn strut. But these ara the fans. TJL'T today, during the dinner and j - supper dances, and at the eah arets, the multitude of dancers slm ply gyrate around the floor as of old, doing one step, two step and plaits, j old waits. The fans ar lost In the) Jam. And no two of them ara dolns) anything quite alike. Last week the writer watched the) New Tork public dancing all tha waj from the Pennsylvania hotel to soma) of tha night clubs. In the hotel not 4 (race of tha Charleston, Black Bo'. torn, Valencia, or anything else was to be aeen. It was simply a crow ! of people dining and dancing pleas antly around to different speeds anj cadences of music. In the cabarets there were hlrcl performers who got up on desert"il floors the floor Is chained off f.i their demonstration who wei.l through the stage version of un known and unlikely dances, wim queer, brutal negro titles. Immedi ately after, tho public swarmed on :aj the floor and went around, regard less of the demonstration. If ths orchestra played a fast fox trot, the walked fast. If a slow fox trot, the walked slow. If a Valencia, they still walked. If a waits, It was a walk. 'THE Valencia was heralded aa the! newest dance. It was develops! to take advantage of a new tuna) with odd, Spanish, arrested rhythm to It. But only two other pieces of, music containing this rhythm havaj been brought out. Nobody wants toy waits forever to ths Blue Danube os) the Merry Widow. The Valencia has) had a short life. But it f ava a Bpan Ish touch to things. It opened tha) nay to some of tha old tango steps - which are a remembered measure) back of the days beforw tha negrcj dances came In. Tou have got to be young to plaK pickaninny, - After a certain age a man wanta ta) I plsy whit man. WONDERS By Arthur Mee ml at least one of those who i the Great Ecllpe In England recently the thing that he will remember longest is not the marvellous Corona of (he Run, or the flames that would reach across the world and back. They are, no doubt, the most surprising thing in Nature that eye can look upon. The glow of light spreading over a field halt as big na Europe, a flame hues enough and fierce enough to shrivel up tha Earth like a tennis hall, are astounding sights to see. But to sea the blottlns - out of the Sun Is something more moving and more terrible. Tha prospect at the end nf the llth day was enough to send every man home. Yet Glggleswlck wslled all night, and, whatever the Astronomer - Royal might say, (he old vlear who baa seen the Sun rise oa those hills for 10 rears was still an optimist.. If only a miracle eould aava us, then a miracle It srauld , and In the end a mlraslt) It was. Thaaa who aad gone to bed woke u at reur, sad e slue bed tha hill at tr. Nothing aaamed llkety I) avail tnt tat sjuenchtess faith that 'all la well .la arm tha darkest hour. Thara wae Just a mtie.hopo, but It was tva a'cioak and the clouds were low, wita a kreak here and there too small to put a hand In. The little patch of liRht grew bigger, and then another cloud would come and hide our tiny hope, . and so e, climbed the hill lth heavy hearts. Terhaps so many peopl, n.tve never excited themselves ahum the clouds before; certainly there never was t race so well worth watching as this between the clouds so noar and the Sun so far away the clouds a few hundred ynrds above our heads, dark, creeping, and menacing; the 8un nearly a hundred million miles behind, bright, swift and with a still small voice of promise. The glory' of the I'nlverse was to pass by; the majesty of the heavens was to move above that solitary tree, and the clouds mere breaking, oh, so slowly. But the Lord was not In the cloud. Almost breathlessly we watched aa the moments passed. Tha hell struck six In the old church tower, and tha Sun sailed out Into a little bay above the elowly - molng bank ofcloud. Perhaps we should say halt tha Bun sailed out, for In front of It was the Moon, and halt Its fare was darkened, DETOND the bay Int. which - the two had sailed waO another peak of cloud, and then another hay, and so the race went on., mhlle thousands prayed who never prayed berore. They prayed that the Kun would rise in time ahove the peaks of cloud that threatened It as the fateful moment tame. For perhaps five tulnufca tn this hour his face had been seen, and at h ast there was one who clapped his hands when It flrnt appeared, as if It had been tha gates of Heaven opening wide. , The Sun was winning: God was not n the cloud after all; once more K wns the still small voice that lifted up the hearts of men. But there was little time still left, and In trout of the darkened Hun, aa It swept across the 'long bay now opened In the clouds, was another shallow bank'. It was like a wall Just high enough to hide this wondrous sight from human eyes, and we felt that It was a pitiful thing. There were Just a few mora minutes. The Moon had almost blotted out the Sun;, all that was left of the centre and sustalner of our Solar System wss a fast - narrowing crescent of light. The blackness was creeping on; the world of light and the singing of birds and the Joy. nua warmth of the fleeting Run were pssslng asy. It wss growing cold. More than on smons the thousands on this little hill must have remeinYered the pifin of the Last Man, for whom all worldly shapes shall melt In gloom. But the crescent v. hi still there; the moment that was to be historic was yet a minute or two ahead; there was still a future to hope for If only the cloud would pass. The crescent sailed on behind It, and whether It was to pass or not there eame a remarkable sight. The edR of that last bank of clond that eonld hide this dory from us was riding by like driven snow, and the Crescent Sun nas sailing on behind it while the seconds passed. Could anything b more beautiful, or more breathlessly exciting? IT was the last chance, the last minute, and the cloud with the silver lining was moving fast. It moved Ilka some great ship In tha vast ocean of the ether, and It moved In the very moment of time. There had been II Impossible dnye, and on the 14th dav. In the very minute when the Pun was entirely in eclipse", almost at the very moment we were waiting for, ine ptacK snaclow of the Moon sailed Into clear sky with the Sun In Its power. The Sun hsd won the race ssalnst the Cloud, the Moon had won the race against the Sun. We felt that we had known nothing' in our Uvea more admirably man - aped, no finer piece of stage - craft, than this dramatic appearance of tha Sun Eclipsed sailing out of tha clouds, in the very nick of time. We stood In tha dark and cold with tha Sun blotted out There was a ring of shining light round the black face of tho Moon, with tha red flames shooting out of It; there waa the fainter glow of the Corona, seeming to cover as great a surface as the face of the Sun Itself; but more Impressive than tha sight at what was happening waa tha thought of It This unthinkable Immensity of fire In the heights or depths of space, what la It that controls It and keeps It within bounds T A little fire on Earth consumes a forest or a town; this millions of miles of fire aweepa on Its way through space and all la well. It sweeps on In such perfect order, It keeps such perfect time, that w know when It will meet the Moon again and be hidden from the eyea of man In a hundred or a thousand years from now. l'E knoa the point In space and PT (ha moment in time when the Sun wnd Moon will past agrln There la no chance In this amazing Vnlverso and yet we wonder how many of those who looked at this great sight remembered that we owe It In a curious way to one small thing that may be chanco. Is It not, of all the things we know, one of the most remarkable that to our eyes on Earth the Sun and the Moon appear of equal size? They are two small things among milllpns of mighty things; they are millions of miles apart: they move In different paths at different speeds; and yet it happens that they seem 'to n exnetly the same size: they move at Just that distance from us when this must be so, and to this curious circumstance it Is that we owe nearly all our knowledge of tho Sun. If the moon did not exactly fit ths Sun's bright disc we might never have seen these flames shooting out; we might never hav known the Corona. We went to Qlggleswtck by a heavenly way, by Roman altars and Saxon temples and wonderful cathedrals, We looked down Into tha little well above which Paullnus hnllt a wooden temple 1.300 yean aso; w saw the pssan altar raised there hfor Paullnus eame and the stones of (he Saxon temple raistd there after Paullnus had gon; we heard Htalner'a Amen In ths won. derful York Minster that men have set up on this spot, surely among the very noblest things the angels In Heaven look down upon. We went to a little Saxon church and heard the village singing where their ancestors have sung for a thousand years, and we went to that Holy of Holies of our Homeland, the little church of Good - manham, where they brought the good news from Galilee on that day which every boy and girl In England should keep In memory. rAL'LINCS had come frbm Rome to persuade King Edwin of Northumbrla to abandon idols and to worship God. The King decided to meet his counsellors, and they met at Goodmanham, or near enough to It to hear the singing of'a lark. The argument had gone this way and that, Paullnus pleading for the new and brave men pleading for the old, and then arose In the hall an old man with the gift of poetry, for our English tongue has never heard sweeter music than those words ha snld. What eame before Mfe and what eomea after, all l m;istery. The Kincnnd his captain nd imnlslm are silting In on a dark winter's day; rain and snow with out and the bright fire within. Sud denly comes a little bird, flying In at one door, tarrying .a moment ia the light of the fire, and flying out at the other door to the darknesa whence It came. So Is the life of man. If this new doctrine will tell us anything of these mysteries, the Before and After, let us follow It. The king was moved that wlnter'a night, and, if not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father s notice, what Joy that little sparrow must have stirred In God'a abode! For they followed the new doctrine, and Colfl rode down Goodmanham Lone and broke down the Idols. They, too, who ant In darkness saw the great light. It seemed a good way to' ga from Goodmanham to Glggleswick, for there, too, the great darknesa passed. Perhaps nothing In all thle was more astonishing than tha dra matlo return or the light The slow ly - formlng crescent of the coming Moon had brought darknesa over the Earth; the second creecert, formed th9 Instant after totality hr the passing Moon, filled tha Carta with sudden light It was a eVam atle moment. The Sun was lost anf was found again The light of tha world wsi once more among meri.

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