The Malagueña and the Bullfighter (1905)
Alternate Title: La Malagueña et le torero
Another short dance movie from Alice Guy demonstrates the ongoing popularity of dance and exoticism into the Nickelodeon era. Indeed, one cold think of movies like these as the precursors to the musical extravaganzas of MGM and other big studios in a later period.
This movie stars the same dance troupe we saw last night in “Tango.” This time one of the men who stood and clapped is dancing with one of the women, and both of their outfits receive the benefit of hand-tinted color, making them stand out against the background. The man is decidedly in a Matador’s outfit, while the woman’s dress is similar to the “Tango” one. Their dance involves little touching, but does have the sudden movements and snapping that we saw in the previous solo dance. There is also much coordinated kicking and turning. At the beginning of the movie, the man has a cape on, and the woman is holding a fan and wearing a veil, but by the end these have been discarded, allowing for a kind of voyeuristic “revealing” of the dancers, although very little skin is visible through their costumes.
I would guess that these two movies were offered together with “Spain” and some kind of narrative about travel Spanish culture. It might also have suggested appropriate musical themes for theater owners to provide, or even a score for their pianist to follow. “Malagueña is apparently the name of this dance, but may also refer to the female character (it simply means “of Malaga”).
Director: Alice Guy
Camera: Unknown, possibly Alice Guy or Anatole Thiberville
Starring: Unknown dance troupe
Run Time: 2 Min
You can watch it for free: here.