Saturday, February 1, 2014

Eccentric Dance: Jack Stanford (and Hal Sherman)

[post 354]

Another scrumptious treat from our resident eccentric dance expert, Betsy Baytos. I don't know much about Jack Stanford, but the Pathé site where this 1935 clip comes from at least explains that he is dancing to the Hungarian Rhapsody (Franz Liszt)... but the web version is just a "preview" without the audio.
(Click image to play.)




Here's a much shorter clip of Stanford, but you do get the music, and he's even singing.




Comments on the Pathé site feature this pointed exchange between descendants of Stanford and of American eccentric dancer Hal Sherman:
  • Well, it certainly looks like Hal Sherman's dance routine to me! It's almost step-for-Moonwalk-step.

    Alice (Sherman) Simpson
    DramaQueenLA 3rd Jun 2012
  • In response to the above comment, can I quote the review from The Brighton and Hove Herald circa 1928 of the show at The Brighton Hippodrome with The Houston Sisters.
    "Jack Stanford is surely the greatest eccentric dancer of the day. He is at one time amazing and uproariously funny. If you have seen Ben Blue, you have seen good eccentric dancing. If you have seen Hal Sherman, you have seen eccentric dancing almost as good as it can be. But not until you have seen Jack Stanford have you seen eccentric dancing at its amazing best.
    The original cutting of this is in his personal scrapbook, along with his reviews from The Folies Bergere in 1927 with Josephine Baker, The Scala Berlin, The Royal Variety Performance at The London Palladium in 1931 and so many more.
    Jill Stanford 10th Jan 2014
And who is Hal Sherman? Here's another (silent) Pathé clip, this one from 1926. Sherman appears just before the 5-minute mark. (Click image to play.)

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