Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895)

by popegrutch

Annabelle Serpentine

Continuing with my theme of 19th-Century dance videos for this week (not what I had planned, but sometimes you follow a lead where it takes you), here is a movie of the same Annabelle Moore I talked about yesterday, taken one year later and formally identified as a “serpentine” dance, as in the case of the German film reviewed on Monday. In this case, we are fortunate to have a hand-tinted color copy preserved, often shown as one of the first examples of color motion picture film. The color adds to the ethereal and unreal qualities of the dance, which again emphasizes the flowing robes of the dancer. The commentator on “Edison: The Invention of the Movies” makes the interesting point that these types of dances were popular film subjects because you could start from anywhere and end anywhere, looping it several times without really interrupting the action or making it seem to jump. This differs it to more linear films like “A Train Coming into a Station” or early narratives like “A Sprinkler Sprinkled.”

Director: WKL Dickson

Camera: William Heise

Starring: Annabelle Moore

Run Time: 30 secs

You can watch it for free: here.