Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gaby Deslys ... French Music Hall to Jazz

'In 1917 Gaby Deslys returned to France with a golden legend of royal amours, prodigous wealth - and jazz. A native of Marseilles, she brought back from New York millions of jewels - a living embodiment of the new-style Music-Hall in both old and new worlds.

Gaby also introduced the jazz-band to Paris. Its instruments ranged from saxphones to revolver shots. And for the first time a music-hall actress appeared on stage, smothered in plumes and feathers, bejewelled like a queen, performing dances 'of an almost insane ferocity'...the tone of modern music-hall was set and peole welcomed it as a long-awaited release from the old theatrical conventions.'

Excerpts from 'Les Folies du Music-Hall' by Jacques Damase. Accompanied by restored & coloured photos from our collection. Click on pics above to view more.

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