Nina Payne was an eccentric, futurist American dancer who, after long years in vaudeville travelling across the USA, made a trip to Europe and became an instant hit in Paris where she remained throughout the 1920s.
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The stunningly beautiful and dark haired ‘Miss Florence’ startled Parisian audiences as a member of the Gertrude Hoffman troupe in 1924 when she came on stage on an elephant as the Queen of Sheba. She became a popular celebrity in her own right, before teaming with Julio Avarez in a dancing partnership that proved highly successful mainly in New York and Miami cabarets in the 1930s.
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Shrouding herself with an exotic sounding name and persona, Gypsy Rhoumaje struck the big time in London and Paris from 1926 and delighted fashionable continental audiences with her exotic style of dancing and her own personal beauty. Of course nobody, least of all journalists, could spell her name right with several attempts that included Gypsy Rohoumage, Gypsy Roumahje, Gypsy Rhouma-je and Gypsy Rhouma (all with Gipsy variants).
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The Tragedy of May Vivian
May Vivian (1903-1924) was a vivacious actress and dancer who had just made a name for herself in London cabaret and was destined for bright things, but her life was cut short when, with all the dramatic intensity of a film tragedy, she was shot dead in the Spring of 1924 by a jealous suitor in the South of France.
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Dancing Dora Duby
The dark, glamorous and exotic sounding Dora Duby was an outstanding American solo dancer who found fame in Europe during the 1920s particularly in Paris where she was called the ‘Pet star’ of the famous Le Perroquet cabaret.
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Bee Jackson and ‘Hey! Hey! Charleston’
The blond and vivacious Bee Jackson was described as the Charleston Queen and was certainly one of the more prominent advocates of the dance in America and Europe but did not ‘invent’ the dance itself. In the midst of a brilliant, international career she died tragically in her mid twenties.
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The Curious Tale of Peggy Marsh
Peggy Marsh was an unremarkable chorus girl and later cabaret artist in the mid-1920s, who became famous for having a baby with the son of a multi-millionaire, and then being unceremoniously disregarded.
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Marcelle de Saint Martin
French born Marcelle de Saint Martin was creative, talented and a striking beauty who found great success designing costumes for the stage in London at the end of the First World War and later became chief designer and head of one of the first British film wardrobe departments. And yet her career was sadly all too brief and short-lived.
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Who was Edward Dolly?
Eddie Dolly was ostensibly the brother of the legendary Dolly Sisters. A talented dancer like his sisters, he became a prolific choreographer for both his sisters and major London theatrical producers and found a particular niche staging cabaret shows in the 1920s.
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