Posts Tagged ‘Folies Bergeres (Paris)’


‘My Fancy,’ the ‘Queen of Sand Dancers,’ as she appeared in her quick-change scena, ‘Winter, Spring and Summer,’ 1908

August 13, 2013

My Fancy‘ (1878-1933), American variety artist, billed as the ‘Queen of Sand Dancers,’ as she appeared in her quick-change scena, ‘Winter, Spring and Summer,’ during her tour of UK music halls, 1908
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, probably 1908)

‘A Leading Lady Dancer.
‘There are many clever dancers on the variety stage, but very few experts. My Fancy figures amongst the latter; in fact, she stands alone in her particular line of business. She does not sing, or attempt to sing; she simply dances, and one would expert to find her in a state of collapse after her hard work, but she leaves the stage with a smiling face and alert step. My Fancy is the picture of good health, and we in Birmingham are looking forward to seeing her in her quick-change turn entitled “Winter, Spring, and Summer,” which she recently introduced to London audiences. In this dancing scene she appears to great advantage. The first scene depicts the Glacé Mountains, Switzerland, and while My Fancy dances with ice skates on marble snowflakes are falling all around her. There is a veritable bed of roses at the back of the stage when “Spring” is presented, and when My Fancy steps forward holding a fancy paper star in her outstretched hands the scene is really brilliant. The dancer impresses her audience, and thunderous applause follows. Then we have “Summer,” a scene at the seaside, and My Fancy going through one of her famous dances on the stands. Such a show as this is assured a warm appreciation in the provinces during the summer months. – Vide the Birmingham Weekly Mirror, April 11, 1908.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 18 April 1908, p. 21e)

The Oxford music hall, London
‘That finished and versatile dancer My Fancy is presenting with such success her novel scena ”Winter, Spring, and Summer.” In the Winter scene she executes a skilful skate dance; Spring discloses her as a dainty maiden who trips lightly, fashioning the while an elaborate pattern from a large sheet of paper, and the concluding scene, Summer, represents the sea-shore, the dancer, who presents a charming (The Era, London, Saturday, 18 July 1908, p. 16a)

‘My Fancy’, otherwise Mae Rose Bawn (née Baker), wife of the English music hall comedian and manager Harry Bawn (1872-1928), was born in St Louis, United States of America, on 23 May 1878. She began her dancing career as a child and was soon teamed with another girl to appear as the Macumber Sisters. She subsequently performed as a trapeze artist, acrobat and illusionist. Her first appearance in England was as a solo turn under her own name at the London Pavilion on 17 December 1894. She later transferred to the Oxford music hall, London, where she first assumed the name of ‘My Fancy’ on 25 March 1895. Afterwards, billed as ‘The Queen of Sand Dancers,’ she appeared at principal variety theatres worldwide, including the opening of Hammerstein’s Olympia, New York, in 1896. During 1897/98 and 1912/13 she visited Australia, in between fulfilling many other engagements in England, America, Egypt, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India and South Africa. ‘My Fancy’ also appeared at the Folies Bergères, Paris.

‘The art of step-dancing has reached perfection in the person of “My Fancy,” the famous danseuse, who is delighting audiences at the Hippodrome [Sheerness] this week. If you can imagine a succession of speedy and difficult movements executed in breathtaking haste, but yet well ordered and in perfect time and rhythm, then you have an idea of the art of which “My Fancy” is so able an exponent. Her dancing is unlike that which is at the present taking London by storm. She executes no dream waltzes, no gliding, fantastic movements; there are no wave-like ripples of the arms, no poetic motions. The key-words of “My Fancy’s” dancing are rhythm and vigour. With her body perfectly rigid and her arms practically motionless, she trips out fleet and airy measures, and great applause is hers. For here we have the art of step-dancing pure and simple, without any tendency to the over-worked, flogged-to-death leg-mania. “My Fancy’s” performance is something more refined. After all, is not expert fleetness of foot a poetic attainment; is not the never faltering rhythm danced out by toe and heel something which deserves a position amongst the high arts? But as a sand danseuse “My Fancy” is still more expert. With a medley of minute movements, with a never-flagging vigour, she taps out the rhythms of the measure, and is, of course, recalled by the fascinated audience.’
(The Sheerness Guardian and East Kent Advertiser, Sheerness, Saturday, 7 November 1908)

‘My Fancy’ died in Ramsgate on 24 February 1933.


Maud Hobson

February 7, 2013

Maud Hobson (d. 1913),
English actress,
said to be considering
an appearance at the Folies Bergère, 1894
(photo: unknown, probably London, early 1890s)

‘London, August 11 [1894].
‘Miss Maud Hobson, the premier Gaiety girl, has not yet decided whether she will accept the offer of M. Marchand, the proprietor of the Folies Bergere, Paris, to perform a real Honolulu dance, supported by native women. Miss Hobson was married to the late Captain Haley of the hussars, and went with him to Honolulu, where he became commander in chief and prime minister, and she acted in the capacity of lady in waiting to the queen. Consequently Miss Hobson has had every opportunity of studying the Hawaiian dances. She wishes to give one of them at the Princes of Wales’ theatre, but George Edwardes would not give her the necessary permission, saying that, although he was not prudish, he must draw the line at Hawaii.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Saturday, 11 August 1894, p.8c)


Flora and May Hengler, American duettists and dancers

January 5, 2013

Hengler Sisters (Flora and May, fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
American duettists and dancers
(photo: Morrison, Chicago, mid 1890s)

‘Announcement is made that the Hengler sisters lately danced at an entertainment in the house of one of the Vanderbilts at Newport. The unimpeachability of the Vanderbilts is less significant in this instance than the delicate compliment carried to the taste of the entertainment committee of the Hanover club. It will be remembered that the Hengler sisters danced at that club with so much chic and agility that the integrity of the organization was seriously threatened by the women who were not present.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Monday, 24 July 1893, p. 4e)

‘The Hengler sisters, two little girls, who began their professional career about the time that they made a stir by dancing at the dignified Hanover Club of this city, are in Paris. They began a return engagement at the Folies Bergeres in Paris on September 4. During their previous engagement they made such a hit that M. Marchand, the manager, gave them this return engagement, which is for three months. They are the stars of the bill, and the fact that they are Americans is noted on the programmes. They are said to be the first performers to make a success in Paris with what is known as a ”neat” singing and dancing act.’
(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, Sunday, 3 October 1897, p. 16c)

‘In connection with this production [The Sleeping Beauty and the Beast, Broadway Theatre, New York, 4 November 1901] the appearance of the Hengler sisters brings back memories to the old-time theatre-goer. They are the daughter of T.M. Hengler, dead these many years, who with his partner, W.H. Delehanty, was a pioneer in what for many years was known as the ”refined clog-dancing speciality.” Both men were Albanians, and had been in minstrel troupes for several years, when, in 1868 they formed the team of Delehanty and Hengler and joined Dingess and Green’s minstrels. Then they introduced the act of coming on dressed in the pink of costume fashion, the stage usually being set as a garden. There is a sample of the kind of song they sang:

White wandering in the park one day
In the pleasant month of May,
What was my surprise
When a pair of roguish eyes
Met me by the fountain in the park

‘At the end of each verse they broke into a clog-step in rhythmical harmony with the music.
‘The little Hengler girls have speaking parts in the extravaganza. One of them has had more serious dramatic ambitions, and has devoted time to the study of Shakespeare and reading. Tony Pastor first saw their talent, and was largely responsible for their first opportunities in London.’
(The New York Times, New York, Sunday, 10 November 1901, Magazine Supplement, p. 3d)

‘Shuberts Sign Hengler Sisters.
‘The Hengler sisters, Flora and May, have signed a contract to appear under the management of Shubert Bros. when they make their new production that Reginald De Koven is writing for the new Lyric Theater. Prominent roles will be assigned the Hengler sisters, and it is said they will be seen in more pretentious parts then they have yet essayed.’
(The Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, 30 November 1902, p. 11c)

‘The Hengler Sisters are reported to be arousing the audiences to great enthusiasm at the Alhambra Music Hall, London, with their dainty turn. They are billed to appear at 10.30 P.M., which is headliners’ time in England, and are effectively singing ”The Maiden With the Dreamy Eyes” and ”Down Where the Cocoanut Grows,” Horowitz & Bowers’ latest effort. It is expected that they will arrive in new York shortly, to go into one of the Shubert productions.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, 4 April 1903, p. 134d)

‘Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish gave a dinner Thursday evening at her house, 25 East Seventy-eighth street, New York, for Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zabriskie Gray. Her guests were seated at tables decorated with spring flowers.
‘After the dinner, which was accompanied by the music of Highland bagpipers, there were songs and dances by the Misses May and Flora Hengler. General dancing followed the entertainment, and for this other guests arrived.’
(The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Saturday, 4 February 1911, p. 7e)