Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dancing Cheek to Cheek

A few weeks ago a programme aired on the BBC on the UK about the history of British dance crazes, the title of the programme charmingly was 'Dancing Cheek to Cheek'

About 20 minutes into the 3rd and final programme Len Goodman launched into talking about Vernon and Irene Castle and the influence they had on Britain in the 1910s, if anyone has seen the footage of the first half of this youtube video (have to say i'm fonder of the second half for reasons known to anyone who has seen it)
I didn't realise until now that this formed part of a film that was aired to movie audiences in 1915 'The Whirl Of Life', effectively the first dance training video!!
They also thankfully mentioned that Fred was inspired by them and so effectively had they inspired the dancing of Fred and Ginger that they had made a movie about them!! (Fred and Ginger made a movie about Vernon and Irene before anyone decides to pull a pun ;)) Which on that particular note it is a shame that only people today who are familiar with dance and its history seem to have any idea of who they were, I find it hard enough sometimes to find people who have heard of Fred and Ginger let along trying to find people who know exactly who Vernon and Irene were let alone what they were famous for!!

The tv show has helpfully thrown up a few 'new' to me photos of Vernon and Irene

It is somewhat disappointing that there are no further references to Fred and Ginger and disappointing again that there were no mentions of Fred and Adele especially considering how much more beloved they were in the UK compared to the US and of course considering who Adele married and all, then again Vernon was British which helps with talking about British dance history!!

I'm sure you'll likely have seen most if not all of these before but they make a nice round off/comparison non the less :-)