Gurney Journey: The Dancing Pig (1907)

If you haven’t nevertheless observed the film “The Dancing Pig” (Le Cochon Danseur)  you might be in for a address. Url to YouTube

This is the colorized, audio-added edition of a 1907 film that was originally a silent, black-and-white burlesque film launched in 1907. It was almost certainly based mostly on a Vaudeville act. In the shorter movie, a lady dances with an animatronic pig. She humiliates the pig, and then he (seemingly) exacts his revenge by ingesting her offstage. 

The animation of the huge puppet, put together with the dance moves of the performer, are remarkable. The subsequent comment on YouTube offers further insight and appreciation:

“Wanting earlier what contemporary audiences may perhaps find ‘creepy’, it can be really an endearing and melancholy story. The pig comes dressed as a refined gentleman to try out and court docket the wonderful dancer but soon after rejecting him, she mocks him, humiliates him and strips him to steal his dignity, then attire him in woman costume in advance of heading down to just bloomers. I’m guessing there is some underlying symbolism in there somewhere. As for the costume – it looks creepy, though I would picture was not supposed to the way aged fashioned clowns appear creepy to modern-day audiences. I consider it can be so effectively executed that it falls into the class ‘uncanny valley.’ But the animatronics of the head are extraordinary by any normal, in particular the ability to sneer the jowls back to expose the enamel. Together with the lolling tongue, flapping ears and independently going eyes, I’d consider the wearer/ operator had fairly a endeavor doing the job all the controls. You can see how 1 or both of those arms cling limp as he retracts his palms within to then access up to function the head. I am guessing he had a minimal watch via the mouth far too. So, looking at all the animation/ puppeteering he had to do… even though dancing, it a ponder how he could even continue to be on his ft in that doubtlessly major fit, let along in fact dance! This film is so much far more than just a ‘creepy’ curious spectacle.”

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©Helen Klebesadel, The Watchers. Watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Used with permission.

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