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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

1914 Silent Film Clip Of Black Americans Dancing In A Nightclub

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcase a 1914 film clip showing Black Americans dancing in a nightclub. The original film clip is without sound.

Selected comments from the YouTube discussion thread for this film clip are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in this film clip and thanks to the person who filmed this clip. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this film clip on YouTube.

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SHOWCASE EXAMPLES
The silent version of this film clip is presented first.

Example #1:A 1914 film showing black people dancing in a dance hall - Great dance moves. Getting jiggy with it!



ricsil2037, Published on Jul 21, 2012

...This is a 1914 film showing black people dancing on a dance floor. They are getting jiggy with it. Interior of a Black dance hall with band and dancers.

DISCLAIMER: This video is part of the Prelinger Archives with the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark 1.0 license. This video is in the Public Domain.
-snip-
Here are links to two other YouTube examples of this film clip with added sound:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpEVCiAG70c
American dancers in 1914, jazz dance in a black club with Kid Ory's 'Ballin' the Jack'

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOk4oArl3Tk Dancing (1914)

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SELECTED COMMENTS
Here are selected examples from this "video's" discussion thread. These comments are given in relative chronological order except for responses. However they may not be in consecutive order as all of the comments in that discussion thread aren't included in this compilation. I added numbers for referencing purposes only.

2015
1. Todd Robbins
"They are doing the dance called the Texas Tommy. That band in the background was possibly Sid LeProtti's band from the Barbary Coast. This dance had open sections that look like what we call square dancing. The closed sections of the dance were often danced with great verve and had acrobatic elements thrown in. The Texas Tommy paved the way for the Lindy Hop and the Jitterbug"

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Reply
2. dancetjoen
"+Todd Robbins Those pivots came from german folkdance, possible kind of polka"

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Reply
3. stischer47
"+dancetjoen The group is doing a quadrille and many of the steps come from German folk dance...hence "German Clubs" were formed not for Germans but rather for the style of dancing quadrilles."

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4. dancetjoen
"+stischer47
Yes, I see it now: the first part is a quadrille, changing partners. But the second part, the solo couple (with dog) is supposed to be Texas Tommy. Those pivots are still seen in the jive"

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5. stischer47
"Definitely...but German quadrilles also had parts where each couple (or opposite couples) would have their "moment to show off". Not saying that it's not the Texas Tommy, but many dance forms (esp. of the peasants and slaves) were based on mimicking (or lampooning) the dances of the rich."

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dancetjoen
6. "+stischer47"based on ..dances of the rich" Yes, most couple dances, you can see it the way they hold each other."

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7. Todd Robbins
"Regardless of where is all came from, the question is how did it end up in the African-American community in San Francisco in the 1910s?"

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8. Niecey Denise
"Lindy Hop came from Jackson FL. Swing Came from New Orleans. Jitterbug is a derivative. It ended up in our community because it thats where it came from. Along with Hambone. Country & Rock."

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9. Jolene8, 2016
"+dancetjoen It was the Spaniards from whom the English borrowed the "holding of the partner" in dance, from. It was scandalous when introduced to "polite" society ... so no, the rich took their dance moves from the poor, to be more specific the underbelly of society. African slaves transported cultures throughout the world as they were up rooted and sold and/or resold. Sorry, upper Caucasian society didn't dance like this. And the polka or "pulka" was "created" by a Czech, who happened to be a peasant. But jumping side to side jamming to the "beat" was known world wide in peasant "classless" societies.

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10. dancetjoen, 2016
"+Jolene8 Holding partner is typical European and very old (painting by Breughel). In other continents only solo and group dances. "scandalous" was when the holding became very close at the introduction of polka and viennese waltz.

It is true that many ballroom dances have their root in folk dances (see Wolfram von Esschenbach Parzival early 13th century).

But transporting cultures over the world was done by the upperclass. The working class saw the dances and copied the steps"

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11. Jolene8, 2016
"+dancetjoen I would give credit to both the poor and the rich for the transportation of these dances. But these dances evolved from street performers and performances and were modified to fit into polite society. Even dances like ballet were originally done by street performers and brought to the highest rank of dancing by those in the French court because there was an interest. The art of dancing really came from watching and mimicking animals.... But enough of that. If you can give me specific painting by the painters /artists and/or pages by the author, I can further my research. But so far, these look like social dances where they held hands, which was not uncommon in "the lower European caste" societies like Ireland; Scotland; Germany; the Netherlands etc. The "embracing" of ones partner socially was done in lower Spaniard societies, and last I checked, they don't considered themselves Europeans, although the may be of Caucasian descent."

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12. dancetjoen, 2016
"+Jolene8 Wasn't the original meaning of ballet little ball? A branch of ballroom dancing for lower class, people who were paid for dancing. An extinct precursor was in ancient greek theatre. Painting I found in wikipedia article about partner dancing. Book I have read, I think project Gutenberg has a translated text"

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13. Jolene8, 2016
"+dancetjoen Ballet came from the latin "ballare" or Italian "ballo" which means to dance. In French ballet means "ball" ... so essentially ballet was lost in translation. But essentially associated with dancing (movement of feet) which spawned masquerade balls and other forms of social dancing. So an Italian street dance finds it's way into the Italian royal court, brought to the French court by Medici and taken and spread throughout Europe and Eastern Europe.

I wouldn't be surprised by an Italian ballet - Greek theatre connection, since Greece and Rome are known for their dramatic "dance" movements. Again, this was the lowest form of social gathering, until nobility took a liking to it.

Even ballet (at the time) there was not too much into embracing because of the whole male-male thing. Talk about scandal when a woman joined the troupe and her waist had to be taken. :O Lol!
I saw the pics aon wiki and commented on my previous post. :D thx!"

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14. dancetjoen, 2016
"+Jolene8 Also check out videos of the dance allemande . Possible origin of cuban dances"

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15. Stearns Knight
"This footage must have been discovered recently. If Ken Burns had access to it in around 2000 he surely would have used it in his documentary JAZZ."

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16. J Jackson
"I find it interesting that we embrace the saying getting "jiggy" with it, does anyone realize the root the derogatory term "jig"? Hmm. Reading the caption above, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not sure of the origin of the saying but just saying."

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17. MooPotPie
"The root of the term "jig" in the dance context is non-racial in. It comes from the French "Gigue" or Spanish "Giga" and simply refers to lively folk dancing. Now "jigaboo" is a different story. While it's origins are actually Bantu, it became a well-known racial slur in the English-speaking world in the 19th-century. I'm pretty sure "jiggy", in this context, refers to the former. I can think of far worse slang we've come to embrace in the today's hip-hop culture . . . I'm sure you can too.

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18. lucy rosevelt
"+MooPotPie Yeah, I was thinking Irish Jig - fast fancy footwork that developed into American Tap dancing.

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19. Bryan White
"+lucy rosevelt Tap dancing came from Black American people. The irish immigrants had not even arrived yet.".

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20. Helene Papageorge
"They sure make square dancing a whole lot less square"

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2016
21. Gabriella Watkins
"white people stole our dance moves and turned them into something stupid because they cant dance like us"

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22. kafenwar
"1:50-2:00: early Charleston."

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