Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At the Folies Bergere . Vintage Posters

The Folies Bergere is a Parisian music hall which was at the height of its fame and popularity from the 1890s through the 1920s.

Built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret, it was patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London.

Opening on the 2nd May 1869 as the 'Folies Trevise', its acts included operettas, comic opera, popular songs, and gymnastics.

The Folies Bergere catered to popular taste. Shows featured elaborate costumes - the women's were frequently revealing, and shows often contained a good deal of nudity. Shows also played up the "exoticness" of other cultures, obliging the Parisian fascination with the negritude of the 1920s.

Some notable performers included the American dancer Loie Fuller who, in the early 1890s, starred at the Folies Bergere. Nearly thirty years later, in 1926, Josephine Baker, an African-American expatriate singer, dancer, and entertainer, became an overnight sensation at the Folies Bergere with her suggestive "banana dance", in which she wore a skirt made of bananas and little else.

'Folies-Bergere. L'Arc en Ciel. Jules Cheret'. 1895.

Vintage Folies-Bergere posters from our 'Showgirl, Burlesque & Dance' collection. Click on pics above to view more.

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