Monday, May 25, 2020

Olivette's mysteries | To be clasped to Flanders mud

The Mysterious Olivette (1918)
Above A photograph (with digital coloring) of The Mysterious Olivette, shown “dancing the Diablo Tarantella in the third act of The Lilac Domino at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool UK. Published in The Bystander on March 20, 1918, p. 609, the headline caption simply read Of Course it’s Camouflage!

And below is an excerpt from a column in the same issue, p. 594—

And what [for soldiers on leave if] there were no camouflage dances? For a camouflage dance, you know, is just exactly like other dances, only, for camouflage, there’s a gramophone instead of a band, and sandwiches instead of quail, and you wear, if possible, a “simple” frock, for you never quite know if someone almost straight from the trenches won’t arrive, and to be clasped close to Flanders mud in white tulle or rose-pink ninon is—well, in any case, rather nice, really.


And alas, one of our favorite old-timey comedy lines (an exchange between dancers)—

“Oh, I’m sorry, I’m a little stiff from badminton.”

“I don’t care where you’re from. You’ll never dance with me again!”