"A little while ago there was a great convention of women's clubs of America. Mrs. Edison is interested in women's clubs and their work and she decided to entertain the Presidents of the ... See full summary »
Three women perform a Japanese dance, suggested by "The Mikado". Dressed in elaborate costumes, the three appear side-by-side as they dance. The two dancers at each end wave banners, while the woman in the middle twirls a fan as she dances.Written by
A must for choreographers and costume designers of The Mikado
Japan had been closed to the rest of the world until about 1860, when it opened up again to foreign trade and technology. Also traditional Japanese culture was exported around the world to such places as the fair at Knightsbridge, London, which inspired WS Gilbert to write one of his greatest operettas, The Mikado in 1885. Although visiting Japanese dancers may have been exotic curiosity to Edison, for us 109 years later it is a window to a distant world. The costumes are probably more ornate than typical "Mikado" costumes, and the dancing is better than is seen on most amateur stages, with the two outer ladies perfectly together. There is an awkward moment (0:24) when the middle lady gets caught in the long twirling ribbon of the lady on the left, but they extricate themselves so deftly that it looks like an edit on first viewing.
Technically the contrast and exposure are very good, although (I imagine) it is the rough film transport that gives the film a hand-held feel. Go to the Library of Congress and have a look!
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