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Archive for the ‘Marge Champion’ Category

During my last week at the Library of Congress, we presented an exhibit of recent acquisitions to the dance collections. It was really great to show and explain the materials to a wider audience. I have included a few photos of it below:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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Before Marge danced with Gower, her first dance partner was Louis Hightower. Louis was the movement model for Prince Charming in Disney’s 1937 Snow White film alongside Marge, which can be seen in the Life magazine article about Snow White. Tragically, Louis was killed in the Normandy landings on D-Day, and Marge’s new dance partner after World War II was Gower Champion.

 

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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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There are hundreds of amazing photographs of Marge from the collection and I wanted to include a few on the blog, including some from her Broadway productions and a few pages of her scrapbook:

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I couldn’t resist posting all of the photographs of Marge with the violins:

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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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There are also many manuscript musical scores in the collection from Marge and Gower’s early career. I have included some images of the scores, along with pictures of the three giant scrapbooks in the collection, a few artsy items, and a 3D image of Marge and Gower.

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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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There was an addition of Ernest Belcher photographs to the collection this week, including images of Belcher dancing and posing with his dance partner Dorothy Edwards:

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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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Belcher was presented with the megaphone by Harry Brand when he was named the Dance Director of Movieland by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers in 1925. Some of the signatures of the many Hollywood actors and actresses on the megaphone include Sam Warner, John Barrymore, Harry Myers, Lina Basquette, Gloria Swanson, Derelys Perdue, Ramon Novarro, Dolores Costello, Sally Rand, Marion Davies, and Colleen Moore. Pola Negri is signing the megaphone in the bottom picture.

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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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Marge appeared in several Broadway productions, but two that I found interesting were the 1943 George Balanchine production ‘What’s Up?’ and the 1946 ‘Beggar’s Holiday’, which included music by Duke Ellington and lyrics by John La Touche. ‘Beggar’s Holiday’ was Ellington’s only book musical and, according to the 2009 Opera Theater Pittsburgh revival program, “was the first racially-integrated Broadway musical, enduring nightly pickets and protests beneath the marquee in response to the production’s interracial romances and race-blind casting.” Photographs of some of Marge’s materials related to these productions can be seen below.

For “Beggar’s Holiday”:

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For “What’s Up?”:

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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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