Revue nègre  

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"She made her entry entirely nude except for a pink flamingo feather between her limbs; she was being carried upside down and doing the splits on the shoulder of a black giant. Midstage he paused, and with his long fingers holding her basket-wise around the waist, swung her in a slow cartwheel to the stage floor, where she stood. . . . She was an unforgettable female ebony statue. A scream of salutation spread through the theater. Whatever happened next was unimportant. The two specific elements had been established and were unforgettable-her magnificent dark body, a new model that to the French proved for the first time that black was beautiful, and the acute response of the white masculine public in the capital of hedonism of all Europe-Paris." --New Yorker correspondent Janet Flanner

Josephine Baker dancing the charleston at the Folies Bergère in Paris for Revue nègre in 1926. Notice the art deco background. (Photo by Walery)
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Josephine Baker dancing the charleston at the Folies Bergère in Paris for Revue nègre in 1926. Notice the art deco background.
(Photo by Walery)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

La Revue nègre was a cabaret show featuring Josephine Baker which premiered on October 2, 1925 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris. The show is credited with bringing jazz (Charleston) from the United States to Europe.

Josephine Baker became an instant success for her erotic dancing and for appearing practically nude on stage. She performed the Danse sauvage, wearing a costume consisting of a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas.

Josephine Baker's success coincided with the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs (1925) , which for one gave the name "Art Deco" and were also a renewal of interest in ethnic forms of art, including African. Therefore Josephine Baker also represented one aspect of this fashion.

In later shows in Paris she was often accompanied on stage by her pet leopard Chiquita, who was adorned with a diamond collar. The leopard frequently escaped into the orchestra pit, where it terrorized the musicians, adding another element of excitement to the show.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Revue nègre" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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