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Archive for June, 2012

Here is a sample of the many lovely photographs of Marge and Gower in the collection:

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All photographs reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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Here are two enjoyable items from the collection that I did not expect to find:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection in the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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The collection contains many photographs or items from well-known people, including:

Martha Graham:

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Ginger Rogers and Marge in “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle”:

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Nancy Reagan:

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Carol Channing:

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Marge at the Academy Awards:

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A booklet signed by Marcel Marceau:

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A letter to Ernest Belcher from Shirely Temple (which came with her photograph that is depicted in the Ernest Belcher post):

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Prince Philip:

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Harry Truman:

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Dwight Eisenhower:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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One of Marge and Gower’s projects was an instructional dance book published in 1954, which is included in the collection.  Some of the “what not to do” images from the book are depicted below, which I find very amusing.

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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A sampling of Marge and Gower’s magazine covers from the collection:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

 

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Although Marge Champion had a prolific career as a dancer, choreographer, director, and teacher, one of her most famous roles was being the model for Disney’s animated film Snow White.

Here are photographs of Marge as Snow White from the collection:

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Marge’s movements were copied to make animation more realistic. An article was written in Life magazine about Marge’s experience as the model for Snow White, which is included in the collection:

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Here is an original photograph from the collection, which is similar to the ones featured in Life:

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Marge was also the model for the fairy in Disney’s Pinocchio:

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Here are fan drawings from the collection that were sent to Marge:

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And Marge at Disney World:

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In the collection, there are also articles that focus on her roles:

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All material reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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Normally I would not post an entire folder of photographs to a blog, but I thought these photographs were so interesting they should be seen by a wider audience.  Some contextual information for these photographs: Ernest Belcher taught many students at his dance school, which first opened in 1916 in Los Angeles; he became involved with Hollywood films in 1918;  he was the first choreographer to present dance at the Hollywood Bowl; according to newspaper articles, he was involved with 200 films before 1931 and created 70 percent of all dance sequences in movies before the early 1930s, including films such as the Phantom of the Opera and the Jazz Singer.

All information presented is from: Prevots, Naima.  “Ernest Belcher and American Dance.” Dance Chronicle v.10,  no.2 (1987): pg. 170-222.

I am only including a bit of information about Ernest Belcher, but there is some available and much more that needs to be researched. I have been overwhelmed by how amazing this collection is and am so grateful to be working to be working with these materials.

After researching every name mentioned on the photographs pictured below, the individuals who I could find information about were:

Lina Basquette (Ernest Belcher’s step-daughter),

Colleen Moore,

Derelys Perdue,

Ramon Novarro,

Georgia Graves,

Joyce Coles,

Shirley Temple,

Cecil B. Demille (pictured with Marge),

Vivian Fay,

Alexander Volinin and Lydia Kyasht

Harvey Karels,

Crane Twins,

Marjorie Tallchief and Elizabeth Maria Tallchief,

Patsy Ruth Miller,

Victor Moore’s wife Shirley,

Mae Ross being trained for the MGM “Art of Skating” film,

Margaret Westberg,

“Blair and Dean” dance team,

Alice Maison,

Marie Prevost,

Michael Brigarite ,

Lucile Iverson,

Lois Moran,

May McAvoy,

Tula Belle and her sister Ebba Mona,

John Barrymore.

There is also a piece of film reel from the Phantom of the Opera, an Ernest Belcher “vaudeville” photograph circa 1910 (the first photograph), photographs of the ‘Carnival of Venice’ Ballet, and many photographs of scenes from films, including: General Crack, The Jazz Singer, A Small Town Idol, Twinkletoes, a film that includes Ebba Mona and her sister Tula Belle, and possibly the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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All photographs reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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