Tag Archives: dance

Image, light, sound – magic: Reporting back on Il Cinema Ritrovato 2016

There was a time when cinema came out from behind trees, burst forth from the sea; a time where the man with the movie camera arrived in town squares, entered cafés, and turned screens to windows into infinity. In this … Continue reading

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Stacia Napierkowska on film

As dancer Marfa Koutiloff in Les Vampires (FR 1915-16), Stacia Napierkowska gave the silent cinema one of its most iconic images: a woman in a black bodystocking and great black bat wings, stretching and swirling as if to take flight. Later, she … Continue reading

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On New Year’s Eve, do the sugar foot strut!

To round out 2015, here’s some instruction on the dance sensation that’s sweeping the nation. Of 87 years ago, that is. From Fox News of 1928, here’s the sugar foot strut! Louis Armstrong would record “Sugar Foot Strut” the same year, but … Continue reading

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Tórtola Valencia in Pasionaria | Passionflower (ES 1915)

   From the Spain of a century ago comes the extraordinary film Pasionaria. The film is a star vehicle for Carmen Tórtola Valencia, better known simply as Tórtola Valencia, a famous Spanish dancer of the era who specialized in exotic dances. Here she … Continue reading

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Sangue Bleu | Blue Blood (IT 1914)

With the release of Sangue Bleu in 1914, reviews were glowing: “This splendid masterpiece is transfused by all of Ms. Bertini’s soul as an incomparable artist.” Francesca Bertini was already launched as a film star, and as a major production, Sangue … Continue reading

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Грёзы | Daydreams (RU 1915)

Daydreams is a story about love, grief, and the blindness that can result from these states. As the story opens, Sergei Nedelin (Aleksandr Vyrubov) is mourning his wife Elena, whom he had loved passionately. Out walking one day, he sees a … Continue reading

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The flowers of romance? Хризантемы | Chrysanthemums (RU 1914)

Today it’s back to pre-revolutionary Russia, where indeed I’ve been spending a lot of my reading + watching time lately. Chrysanthemums (translit. Khrizantemy; 1914) is the story of Vera Alekseevna Nevolina, played by the radiant Vera Karalli in her first film role (her … Continue reading

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