Friday, April 10, 2015

Vernon and Irene Castle

Description of Photographs: Top, The famous dancing team pose for the cover of their book "Modern Dancing" published in 1914, the photo has been restored. Below, this is a black and white photograph from the book showing the progressive steps of the "Castle Walk"

Vernon and Irene Castle were a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers of the early 20th century, who appeared on Broadway and in silent films. They are credited with reviving the popularity of modern dancing. Vernon Castle (2 May 1887 – 15 February 1918) was born William Vernon Blyth in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Irene Castle (17 April 1893 – 25 January 1969) was born Irene Foote in New Rochelle, New York.
      The couple reached the peak of their popularity in Irving Berlin's first Broadway show, Watch Your Step (1914), in which they refined and popularized the Foxtrot. They also helped to promote ragtime, jazz rhythms and African-American music for dance. Irene became a fashion icon through her appearances on stage and in early movies, and both Castles were in demand as teachers and writers on dance.
      After serving with distinction as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, Vernon died in a plane crash on a flight training base in Texas in 1918. Irene continued to perform solo in Broadway, vaudeville and motion picture productions over the next decade. She remarried three times, had children and became an animal-rights activist. In 1939, her life with Vernon was dramatized in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. Read more . . .

The "Castle Walk" performed by Vernon and Irene on film.

Traditional film converted to photograph of the modern dance named after the famous couple.
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