Monday, November 1, 2010

Japanese Acrobats [1904]

An Oriental man and boy walk on a stage with a painted backdrop of a garden or park, give a slight bow to the camera as if it were an audience member, and remove their silk jackets. Both wear dark tights and leotards with light-colored slippers; the man also wears grey trunks, and the boy sports a white cloth around his middle. Lying on his back on a fitted mat, the man juggles and spins the boy with his feet. The boy's acrobatic movements include spinning in a tucked ball-like position, flipping lengthwise in a prone position, flipping from a standing position to a shoulder-stand, somersaulting from a standing to a sitting position, repeated flips involving both the hands and feet of the man, and other series of somersaults and turns. After finishing the act, the acrobats take a slight bow and run off the stage, then return for another bow before finally exiting.

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