Rhythmic Dervises

It was Edison who invented the arc light, and it was Mme. Curie who discovered radium; but who invented the Tango? We can very well conceive a world in which tehre would be no arc lights, no radium, no aeroplanes, and even no Pankhursts; but can you conceive of a world wherein things do not dance?

The first dance was described by Democritus, the Bergson of ancient Greece, who, in his Theory of the World, told us how the atoms from all eternity were tangoing, turkey-trotting, and doing the Hesitation through space in stupendous tangents, whorls, and semi-whorls.

So there is nothing new about the “Dance Mania.” The atoms in the body and the corpuscles in the blood are the real Furlana Kids. And from Democritus to Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle is not such a far cry. This picture of De Zayas’s gives us the very essence of the modern dance, which is made up of virtuosity, vascularity, and ventrosity.

Whirl! Whirl! Whirl! The Tango, the Maxixe, and the Furlana have shaken the world from Spitzbergen to Patagonia! What next? The floor-crawl and the ceiling-walk?

Benjamin De Casseres.


Source: Puck, April 4, 1914, Vol. LXV No. 1925, p. 4



This description accompanied a 3/4-page image of “No. 5.—Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle,” a painting by Marius De Zayas.