Imperial Japanese Dance (1894)

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Imperial Japanese Dance (1894) Poster

A charming representation of the Mikado dance by three beautiful Japanese ladies in full costume. Very effective when colored. (from the Edison Catalog)


5.1/10
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5 March 2018 | Tornado_Sam
"Well? Well? Has the camera stopped filming?"
Said the middle Sarache Sister at the very end of this brief Edison short. I have no idea if these sisters were triplets, but they sure look alike here. Then again, maybe that's just because I haven't seen very many Japanese folks. As it is, the dance they performed in this film (called the "Mikado Dance") is pretty interesting. The two sisters at the sides wave their banners around, while the one in the middle twirls a fan. The routine is repetitive but fun and has contains of movement which makes it a good subject for a film. As was probably the case with all the dance films, Edison chose this particular subject no doubt because of the movement involved.

Also, no one appears to know what the names of these sisters were (which would explain why IMDb groups them all into one name page). Even if this is the case, they still appear to be experienced in the dance and were, to my guess, either vaudeville sensations who performed for stage or merely just typical Japanese folk demonstrating a well-known dance. Again, it's clear Edison was trying to make money off having dancers and athletes performing in his studio to promote their acts through his new medium. The camera is rather shakey when compared to Dickson's and Heise's other work, but the film is still viewable and remains interesting for film historians.

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