OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 09, 1914, NOON EDITION, Image 12

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-02-09/ed-1/seq-12/

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I think the Beginning of the end of
the song-and-dance era has been
reached. I believe that the pestifer
ous times )f turkey-trotting, bunny
hugging, tangoing, hesitation waltz
ing and. the like are nearing the end.
I believe this, because the thing
which spreads so wide thins out and
breaks like a distended bubble.
I have just been in New York,
where I have for years lodged in a
small hotel, because it is a quiet place
or has always been. There is a
medium-sized cafe in which I was
sure to get fairly good food and a
respite from noise. But the cafe
'dansant wave has reached, broken
against and splashed over this
quiet cafe and I feel sure that this
dismal episode establishes highwater
mark for the tide of erotic idiocy
which began with the belly-dance in
Chicago in 1892 and still preserves
some of its Oriental features, and has
submerged all the good dancing the
nation possessed.
I found the tables cleared away
from the center of the room so as to
make a gangway easily seen from the
street. I heard the scraping of cat
gut by a cheap 0, a. .very cheap
orchestra of three count 'em; three!
pieces. I saw sitting at a table be
hind a screen, so placed as not to
screen, the chemical blonde who was
to sing. The menu vaunted her as
a "prima donna," and the orchestra
as "the celebrated orchestra.' And a
bold line read, "Guests are invited to
dance." -
The "prima donna" sang with a
strident voice hke those one hears
through the swinging doors in a min
ing camp. She sang the worn-out
ditties of the era of Blanche Ring in
her earlier days.
Then came the dancing which is
mere elaborated prancing. The
slant-headed male creature and the
i bedizihed female creature executed
odd variations of an Alabama cake
walk. They dipped occasionally with
a modification of the old-fashioned
curtsy, done to music The male
poked his mandibles over the female's
shoulder in Tythmical frustrations of
kisses, and once in a while he twirled
her about with a spin, the object of
which was to set her gauzy skirts
ballooning as high as possible. It re
minded me of poetry I was especial
ly reminded of a passage from Jean
Ingelow's "High Tide":
"So ;faiTe, so fast the eagre drave
"The heart had scarcely time to beat
"Before a shallow, seething wave
"Sobbed in the grasses at dure feete;
"The feete had barely time to flee
"Before it brake against the knee,
"And all the world was in the see!"
We were all "in the see" when he
spun her about.-- But no guests
danc,ed I was there a week. And
when a thing-becomes so universal as
to be universally a bore-its day of
death is in sight.- Please secure your -partners
for a quadrille. It's coming
, o o
The Footlights.

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