Posts Tagged ‘wire walker’

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Ada Ibrahim

April 25, 2013

a cabinet photograph of Ada Ibrahim (fl. 1880s), wire walker
(photo: Maucourt, Rue Lafaurie de Montbadon, 40, Bordeaux, France, mid 1880s)

‘EASTHAM ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS.
‘NEW AND STARTLING NOVELTY.
‘see MDLLE. ADA IBRAHIM,
‘The most charming and graceful Artiste extant.
‘This Young Lady received a perfect ovation on Saturday.
‘Only a Limited Engagement. Don’t miss seeing her.
‘AMUSEMENTS ALL DAY LONG.’
(Liverpool Mercury, and Lancashire, Cheshire, and General Advertiser, Monday, 28 June 1886, p. 1c)

Eastham Gardens, Birkenhead, near Liverpool
‘Mdlle. Ada Ibrahim is at present fulfilling a highly successful engagement here. The lady’s movements on the the wire are executed with such gracefulness. The performances is extremely clever, and is undoubtedly a great ”draw.” The adroit gymnasts, Nestor and Aerian, are also here, and are meeting with deserved success.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 10 July 1886, p. 18c)

‘New and Startling Novelty.
‘MDLLE. ADA IBRAHIM, Wire Equilibriste, the most graceful and charming Artist extant, who has Performed at all the Principal Theatres and Circuses on the Continent.<br. ‘Liverpool courier, June 28th, 1886. – Amongst his various attractions Mr Thompson, the proprietor of the Eastham Gardens, has made a palpable hit by the engagement of Mdlle. Ada Ibrahim, a Parisienne artist of wonderful ability, whose original and graceful performance meets with the most hearty approbation from the numerous spectators who daily flock to those pretty gardens to gaze upon this new protégée of the public. Ignoring the business of Menotti, Wainratta, and other wire walkers, Mdlle. Ibrahim has chosen for herself a performances which is perfectly unique in character as it is daring in execution. Possessed of rare symmetry of figure, her movements on the wire are executed with the most unqualified gracefulness. There is no straining after effect, he attitudes are unstudied, and her manner has that nai:veté and abandon which makes her skilful performance a pleasure to all. On Saturday this talented young artiste met with quite an ovation from several thousand pleasure-seekers.’
‘The Quarry Floral Fête.
‘Local Papers, Shrewsbury. – Amongst the several great attractions of the floral fête Aug. 18th, 19th, at Shrewsbury, special mention is made of the wonderful and graceful performance of that distinguished artist Mdlle. Ada Ibrahim, especially engaged, and whose performance gave the greatest satisfaction to a numerous audience.
‘At Liberty for a few Weeks prior to fulfilling a lengthened Engagement at the London Pavilion.
‘For terms address, Parravicini, 49, Duke-street, London; or, Mdlle. IBRAHIM, Bromborough, Cheshire.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 28 August 1886, p. 18d)

London Pavilion
‘… Mdlle. Ida [sic] Ibrahim is a wire-walker who undresses ”up aloft,” after a fashion already introduced to frequenters of Music Halls. She first appears in male evening dress, and gets over certain difficulties in her déshabillement very adroitly. She is a graceful and dainty funambulist… .’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 9 October 1886, p. 10a)

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Barbette

March 31, 2013

Barbette (né Van der Clyde Broodway, 1898-1973), American born international wire walker, aerialist and female impersonator
(photo: unknown, probably Paris, circa 1924)

Van de Clyde Broodway, known to the world in the 1920s and 1930s as Barbette, was born in Round Rock, Texas, on 19 December 1899. He began his career as a wire-walker with the Ringling Brothers’ circus but drifted into female impersonation after he replaced at short notice an ailing member of the Alfaretta Sisters trapeze act. In 1923 he was engaged for vaudeville by Thomas Barrasford at the Alhambra Music Hall, Paris, before moving on later that year to feature in the Casino de Paris revue, Y a qu’a Paris. Billed in this as ‘Barbette the Enigma,’ he caused a sensation at what proved to be the beginning of a highly successful international career. Broodway returned to the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War, but in 1942 he fell during a performance and sustained a serious injury. He subsequently became a circus producer and died on 5 August 1972.

* * * * * * * *

‘On stage, against black velvet curtains appeared a young woman in a silvery-gold wig topped with plumes and feathers, with a train of rich lamé and silver lace, undressing on a couch of rich oriental carpets. The woman then rose, naked except for the gems on her breast and belly, and began walking a [low] steel tight-rope. Her eyes shaded green, like some mysterious Asiatic jewel, she walked backwards and forwards along the tight-rope, dispensed with her balancing-pole, and contorted her thin, nervous body as the entire audience held its breath… Then Barbette leapt down on to the stage, gave a bow, tore off her wig and revealed a bony Anglo-Saxon acrobat’s head: gasps from the astonished audience, shattered by the sudden brutality of the action.
‘The Music-Hall has always had its female impersonators. But no one went further in the cult of sexual mystification than this young man who transformed himself into a jazz-age Botticelli…’ (Jacques Damase, Les Folies du Music-Hall; A History of the Paris Music-Hall from 1914 to the Present Day, English translation of the original 1960 French edition, Anthony Blond Ltd, London, 1962, p.30)

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March 31, 2013

Barbette (né Van der Clyde Broodway, 1898-1973), American born international wire walker, aerialist and female impersonator
(photo: unknown, probably Paris, circa 1924)

Van de Clyde Broodway, known to the world in the 1920s and 1930s as Barbette, was born in Round Rock, Texas, on 19 December 1899. He began his career as a wire-walker with the Ringling Brothers’ circus but drifted into female impersonation after he replaced at short notice an ailing member of the Alfaretta Sisters trapeze act. In 1923 he was engaged for vaudeville by Thomas Barrasford at the Alhambra Music Hall, Paris, before moving on later that year to feature in the Casino de Paris revue, Y a qu’a Paris. Billed in this as ‘Barbette the Enigma,’ he caused a sensation at what proved to be the beginning of a highly successful international career. Broodway returned to the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War, but in 1942 he fell during a performance and sustained a serious injury. He subsequently became a circus producer and died on 5 August 1972.

* * * * * * * *

‘On stage, against black velvet curtains appeared a young woman in a silvery-gold wig topped with plumes and feathers, with a train of rich lamé and silver lace, undressing on a couch of rich oriental carpets. The woman then rose, naked except for the gems on her breast and belly, and began walking a [low] steel tight-rope. Her eyes shaded green, like some mysterious Asiatic jewel, she walked backwards and forwards along the tight-rope, dispensed with her balancing-pole, and contorted her thin, nervous body as the entire audience held its breath… Then Barbette leapt down on to the stage, gave a bow, tore off her wig and revealed a bony Anglo-Saxon acrobat’s head: gasps from the astonished audience, shattered by the sudden brutality of the action.
‘The Music-Hall has always had its female impersonators. But no one went further in the cult of sexual mystification than this young man who transformed himself into a jazz-age Botticelli…’ (Jacques Damase, Les Folies du Music-Hall; A History of the Paris Music-Hall from 1914 to the Present Day, English translation of the original 1960 French edition, Anthony Blond Ltd, London, 1962, p.30)

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March 31, 2013

Barbette (né Van der Clyde Broodway, 1898-1973), American born international wire walker, aerialist and female impersonator
(photo: unknown, probably Paris, circa 1924)

Van de Clyde Broodway, known to the world in the 1920s and 1930s as Barbette, was born in Round Rock, Texas, on 19 December 1899. He began his career as a wire-walker with the Ringling Brothers’ circus but drifted into female impersonation after he replaced at short notice an ailing member of the Alfaretta Sisters trapeze act. In 1923 he was engaged for vaudeville by Thomas Barrasford at the Alhambra Music Hall, Paris, before moving on later that year to feature in the Casino de Paris revue, Y a qu’a Paris. Billed in this as ‘Barbette the Enigma,’ he caused a sensation at what proved to be the beginning of a highly successful international career. Broodway returned to the United States at the outbreak of the Second World War, but in 1942 he fell during a performance and sustained a serious injury. He subsequently became a circus producer and died on 5 August 1972.

* * * * * * * *

‘On stage, against black velvet curtains appeared a young woman in a silvery-gold wig topped with plumes and feathers, with a train of rich lamé and silver lace, undressing on a couch of rich oriental carpets. The woman then rose, naked except for the gems on her breast and belly, and began walking a [low] steel tight-rope. Her eyes shaded green, like some mysterious Asiatic jewel, she walked backwards and forwards along the tight-rope, dispensed with her balancing-pole, and contorted her thin, nervous body as the entire audience held its breath… Then Barbette leapt down on to the stage, gave a bow, tore off her wig and revealed a bony Anglo-Saxon acrobat’s head: gasps from the astonished audience, shattered by the sudden brutality of the action.
‘The Music-Hall has always had its female impersonators. But no one went further in the cult of sexual mystification than this young man who transformed himself into a jazz-age Botticelli…’ (Jacques Damase, Les Folies du Music-Hall; A History of the Paris Music-Hall from 1914 to the Present Day, English translation of the original 1960 French edition, Anthony Blond Ltd, London, 1962, p.30)

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Eugene Ray

February 28, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Eugene Ray (fl. 1880s), ‘fil de fer’ (wire walker)
(photo: Richard Stuart Brown’s Photographic Rooms, Edinburgh, probably early 1880s)

Keith’s Circus, Hyde, week beginning Monday, 3 July 1882
‘… Eugene Ray, a clever performer on the slack wire …’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 8 July 1882, p. 10b)

‘Sanger’s Circus
‘There is a considerable change in the programme at this establishment this week. After a month’s successful run, the pantomime of Dick Whittington, which has by its novelty delighted old and young, has been withdraw… . The first part of the programme is of the usual miscellaneous character, and comprises clever feats on barebacked horses by Mdlle. Lizzie and Mr. C. Clarke; a daring performance on the invisible wire by Eugene Ray, and Alfrano and Linder on the flying rings, Mdmme. E. Ray also introduces her highly-trained steeds, which go through some wonderful manoeuvres, and there is also an amusing sketch of a day’s shooting by a Cockney sportsman by Mr. Rolland and Little Sandy… .’ (Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, Leicester, Saturday, 27 January 1883, p. 2a)hire Mercury</I>, Leicester, Saturday, 27 January 1883, p. 2a)