Download Dance marathons: performing American culture of the 1920s by Carol Martin PDF

By Carol Martin

This penetrating research of 1 of the main amazing fads ever to strike the United States info how dance marathons manifested a effective from of drama. among the 2 international wars they have been a phenomenon within which working-class humans engaged in emblematic struggles for survival. scuffling with to out live different contestants, the dancers was hoping to turn into remarkable. there has been crippling exhaustion and suffering one of the contenders, yet finally it was once the coupling of actual discomfort with staged screens that made dance marathons a countrywide craze.

Within the well-controlled area of theatre, they published genuine life’s unpredictability and inconsistencies, and, certainly, the frightful elements of social Darwinism. during this gruesome theatrical surroundings we see additionally a frightening metaphor―the in poor health state grappling with tough times.

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Additional resources for Dance marathons: performing American culture of the 1920s and 1930s

Sample text

Ross, dance marathons were also performed in Europe as an extension and simulation of American culture. Of course, marathons also stirred opposition. Moralists and "church ladies" as well as the police wanted to strictly regulate and ultimately extinguish this form of "dangerous" (sexual, licentious, connected to criminal activities) entertainment. Movie theater owners, recognizing that marathons posed stiff competition for scarce Depression dollars, also wanted the endurance shows stifled. Where did the concept of marathons originate?

Merchants could sell their wares at the marathon, and banners and billboards would advertise their stores' locations and goods. The advance man also dealt with the local police and the local laws governing the assembly of a large number of people, as well as regulations concerning how long a continuous-motion contest could last. The advance man arranged for whatever work was needed to spruce up an arena and make it suitable for a marathon. An orchestra platform, a public-address system, an infirmary, and rest quarters were needed, in addition to a raised rectangular dance floor.

54 A contestant gets a rub down in the "boys"' rest quarters. 56 A table was set up on sawhorses so that contestants could eat their meals while dancing. 58 Country store night 59 Page x The presence of medical staff reassured spectators and teased them with the possibilities of serious injuries. 61 Hal Brown calling contestants to the microphone 65 Eddie Begley with Billy Willis 66 Phil Arnold 67 Couples like this one made the press and spectators speculate that women were as strong as men. 70 A marathon wedding during the Depression 75 Jack Stanley is the groom of an unidentified male bride.

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