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March 15, 2021

London Street Dancers, 1896

Three young girls apparently Irish step dancing to music from a barrel piano in 1896. Filmed in Drury Lane, London in early 1896 for the Lumiere Company.

The Lumiere brothers were the true pioneers of motion pictures. Using their own Cinématographe machine, which was hand cranked and projected at a speed of 16 frames per second.

The gentleman in the top hat, carrying an umbrella is Jules Fuerst, the London agent for Cinématographe Lumière. He was also an able cinematographer. The other man who appears at the end under an umbrella is French entertainer Félicien Trewey, who appeared in several early Lumiere films. The identity of the women is not known. They may have been Irish, English or French, but the dance steps appear to be of the céilí Irish form, which was a popular style in London in those days.


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