Sunday, April 06, 2014

Dance Circle, August 1958

Today's photos are for Melissa!

I've seen so many photos of the Indian dancers in Frontierland, and I can't help wishing that there was an audio recording of one of these performances. What did the music sound like? We've seen drummers in the background before, was that all there was? Or did a recorded track accompany the dancer?

I love looking at the audience. The little kids are fascinated by the hoop dance. And check out the guy with the crazy straw hat toward our right! 

In other photos we've seen a Native American with a microphone in hand, presumably explaining  the significance of the costumes and dances to the guests; or maybe even singing. The color in these photos is great, it's hard to believe that they were taken over 50 years ago!


Nanook said...


Just what is up with that "straw hat"-? And how's come we've never spied any others before-? Hmmmm.

And as for the images being 50+ years old - Kodachrome, as was also true with Technicolor IB prints - essentially doesn't fade. And by not incorporating the dye couplers into the emulsion layers (but adding them during processing) Kodachrome produced very sharp images, in addition to its incredible color palette. Let your eyes enjoy the visual majesty.

Thanks, Major.

Chiana_Chat said...

* does Peter Pan-esque "indian" dance around Major while fanning hand over "OoOoOoOo!" calls *

* dances off *

* reappears as spectator *

Splendid outfit on the man with the hoops (even with the unlikely sleigh bells they added for show). Even at that time with everyone well and often cheerfully dressed, he makes 'em look drab. :)

Nice idea of sticking clumps of grass about the rocks and circle, it makes it look more naturalistic.

Yes, I loves me a slice of the olde Frontier. And so does the guy with the "crazy straw hat" - that or the next time he goes to Adventureland, he'll be more careful trying to look up grass skirts.

Lovely color!

Chuck said...

Lots of nice details to wake up to this morning.

I really like the sails of the Columbia poking up beyond Ft Wilderness in the background in the first two, followed by the Mark Twain in the near background in the third. Lots of river traffic in those days.

The two dancers in the last photo seem ready to turn the Dance Circle into the Flight Circle.

I never noticed the "peace pipe" in the design on the circle itself before. Wish I could remember seeing this in person.

And what's with the guy behind the photographer just to the right of the tall conifer in the center of each photo? His face is either obscured by a branch or an amorphous blob in each picture. It's actually kind of creeping me out.

Irene said...

First thing I thought with regard to the wonderful color is - gotta love Kodachrome! Nanook explained it very well :)
I think there is a man filming near the man with the straw hat. We have movies of this (I think I've mentioned before my Dad LOVED the Indian dancers!). But sadly there is no sound and I do not remember what accompanied them.

Connie Moreno said...

Awesome shots!

Nanook said...

Presumably this track is actually from the Ceremonial Dance Circle, and not some recreation.
Once the page populates, scroll on down to Track 32.

Click here

About the only thing missing are the sounds from the Mark Twain Riverboat.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, my mom had a smaller straw hat that she swore that she bought at Disneyland in the 1950's. It was sort of like that one, but with a paper flower sticking out of the top. There's nothing on it to indicate that it is from Disneyland though.

Chiana, don't you think that Native Americans might have used bells like that (acquired through trade) at some point? I assume that the glass beads that are seen in so many amazing Indian artifacts were similarly traded to the Natives.

Chuck, I agree, I love the Columbian and Twain in the background. OH MAN, if only at some point in the show, the Indians flew little RC airplanes! That would have been the best.

Irene, that's the trouble with old home movies… no sound. Some enterprising people did bring tape recorders with them, including my friend "Mr. X".

Connie Moreno, thanks!

Nanook, amazing! How can I have not heard this track before? I admit that it is about what I expected (except that I thought there'd be some electric bass guitar), but still, very historic.

Tom said...

Wow - they don't get much better than these. Beautiful colors and vivid detail. So wish I could step right into these... and maybe ask that dude where he got that straw hat.

Melissa said...

The straw hat guy looks like he's ready for a nice Hawaiian Punch.

Since it's not there in the first two pictures, the Mark Twain looks like it's photobombing the third one.