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Maurice Mouvet and Florence Walton

December 26, 2012

Maurice (Mouvet) and Florence Walton (fl.1912-1916), American dancers and early exponents of the Tango (photo: White, New York, 1912/13)

‘ENGLISH WOMEN OBSERVE THE TANGO

‘LONDON, June 13 [1914]. – The King and Queen saw the tango as danced in New York for the first time last night as a dinner given by the Grand Duke Michael preceding a ball for the Countess Nada Torby at the Grand Duke’s residence, Kenwood, Hamstead [sic]. The dancers, Maurice and Florence Walton, are the first Americans to appear by royal command to dance. Maurice was once a Bowery denizen, and Florence was formerly a chorus girl.

‘They danced after dinner in the drawing-room before the ball started. Only thirty persons were present, including Countess Torby, the Duchess of Marlborough, the Countess Nada and Zia Torby, the Grand Duke Paul, the Countess of Granard, the Duke and Duchess of Teck, Premier Asquith and Ambassador Page. They danced for forty-five minutes continuously. They had omitted the tango for fear of the royal displeasure, but the Queen asked Countess Torby: ”Can they dance the tango for us? I’ve never seen it.”

‘So the tango was danced. Florence Walton wore an unslit dress at the request of a court official.’ (Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 12 June 1914, p. 15a)

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