Best known today as the founder of Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts, Ted Shawn (1891-1972) toured vaudeville extensively from 1915-1929 with Denishawn, the company he founded and ran with his wife Ruth St. Denis (for more on her and the act go here). When the Depression helped bring about the end of vaudeville, the company and the marriage, his major project was Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers. We celebrate Shawn’s birthday today. Here’s a very brief clip of him from 1963, discussing why he loved dance:
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.