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Josephine Baker's "Danse Sauvage"

by Matt Delmont

On December 12, 1935, the Philadelphia Tribune ran a headshot of Josephine Baker noting that the singer was slated to pop "into the limelight with a new dance creation--the 'Congo,' to be introduced by the international star in Ziegfeld Follies, to open soon." Describing the dance, Baker told newspaper reporters, "it's roots are deep in Africa." The promotional photos for Baker's performance in the 1936 Ziegfeld Follies suggest that her costume was a less risqué take on the skirt of artificial bananas she wore when she performed her "Danse Sauvage" in Paris a decade earlier.

Josephine Baker's "Danse Sauvage"

Footage of Josephine Baker performing her "Danse Sauvage" in a banana skirt at the Folies Bergère in Paris, France c. 1927

from Folies Bergère revue (1927)
Creator: Josephine Baker
Posted by Matt Delmont