Men couple(s)

Silent Film of Sailors Dancing with each Other, Rio de Janiero,1922


Ray Batchelor writes:
“Since this was originally posted, I have found another, shorter, 55 second clip on the Pathé Archive website showing the same scene of dancing, the right way around and with a date – 1922 – and a title sequence which identifies the scene as follows:

“Titles read: ‘Jacks ‘Thé Dasant’ – Sailors from Brazilian, American, French and Japanese Battleships enjoy hospitality of “the Lower Deck” on HMS Hood.’

(Title refers to the French for ‘tea dance’!)

Location is probably off the coast of Rio de Janiero, Brazil.”

This new clip begins with a scene of the sailors welcoming their guests on board not found here.

Even so my original remark apply. On board ship on a hot day – not a tango, but remarkable silent footage of sailors dancing with each other – a quick-step maybe? I am reminded that in the early 20th century, tango often took its place among other ‘modern’ dances and that a minute or two later, we might have seen them dance tango.
No information, but the salient point is that imagery such as this suggests that, where women were not available, men danced, apparently comfortably, with each other.
Walter Nelson, an American writes: “For the most part, it appears that men did not dance with other men when there were women to be danced with. However, in a context where women were not to be had, such as on shipboard, men dancing together was no big deal, though the photos I have seen of it often have a joking quality that suggests a certain level of self-consciousness and discomfort. In fact, it appears that up through World War One, the Navy’s old requirement that the sailors dance for an hour each day for exercise was still in force, though the sailors of 1918 had never learned the Hornpipe that was assumed in the regulation, and so danced the Foxtrot and the TANGO with their shipmates” [Emphasis added, obviously]
When it was posted on Facebook in May 2016, Sasza Zargowski, an UK-based expert on early 20th century dances said “It’s an early Foxtrot with some Castle Walk thrown in. Also some of the animal dance moves in there. I spotted the Duck Waddle. See “Modern Dancing”; by Vernon and Irene Castle (1914) and Newman’s “Dances of Today”; (1915)”
A Pathé newsreel, it was originally posted on YouTube here: but it was the wrong way around, so women appeared to be leading men and the couples were circulating in the wrong direction.
Here we see it, flipped the right way around by Tony Bird.”

What do you believe the copyright status of this image to be?
Ray Batchelor believes: “The image is out of copyright.”

The image url: