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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Jeté-Propelled: 1925

Jeté-Propelled: 1925

June 30, 1925. Washington, D.C. "National American Ballet." A triad of tessellating terpsichores. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

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The old word for this sort of behavior was "gamboling," meaning to leap or skip about playfully.

This word seems to have gone out of popular use, although plenty of people will gambol on occasion.

A bright day?

Given that this was a glass negative, and so probably a slow emulsion, I'm amazed at the framing and detail of the leaping dancers. The bokeh suggests that they were jumping right along the plane of focus and I'm struggling with how they would have gotten the timing spot on to frame them just so. Can't help but wonder how bright it was out there to allow a fast enough shutter speed to freeze them even with the lens wide open. (wish I could jump that high!)

[The emulsion doesn't really care (or know) whether it's on glass or film. Even in 1897 there were fast emulsions. By 1925 photography was almost a century old, and stop-motion shots were nothing out of the ordinary. - Dave]

Tessellating terpsichores, forsooth

It's been a while since I've mentioned it, so I'll say it again: this is one of my favorite blogs in the whole vast blogosphere, and the only thing better than these photos is your titles and captions for them.

I mean, "Jeté-Propelled" ... wow.

Nice alliteration, ya got there!

"A triad of tessellating terpsichores."

"Very good! Can you say 'Titus the tailor told ten tall tales to Titania the titmouse'?"

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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