Gurney Journey: The Dancing Pig (1907)

Gurney Journey: The Dancing Pig (1907)

If you have not yet seen the movie “The Dancing Pig” (Le Cochon Danseur)  you’re in for a deal with. Link to YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/enjoy?v=BU4W858uiGY

This is the colorized, songs-included model of a 1907 movie that was originally a silent, black-and-white burlesque movie introduced in 1907. It was almost certainly based on a Vaudeville act. In the quick movie, a woman dances with an animatronic pig. She humiliates the pig, and then he (apparently) exacts his revenge by feeding on her offstage. 

The animation of the large puppet, mixed with the dance moves of the performer, are exceptional. The pursuing remark on YouTube offers additional insight and appreciation:

“Looking past what fashionable audiences might locate ‘creepy’, it is really basically an endearing and melancholy tale. The pig arrives dressed as a refined gentleman to check out and court the wonderful dancer but immediately after rejecting him, she mocks him, humiliates him and strips him to steal his dignity, then attire him in female costume before likely down to just bloomers. I am guessing there is some underlying symbolism in there somewhere. As for the costume – it seems creepy, even though I might picture was not meant to the way old fashioned clowns glance creepy to fashionable audiences. I consider it truly is so well executed that it falls into the classification ‘uncanny valley.’ But the animatronics of the head are extraordinary by any common, in particular the capacity to sneer the jowls back to expose the teeth. Together with the lolling tongue, flapping ears and independently shifting eyes, I’d envision the wearer/ operator experienced rather a activity doing the job all the controls. You can see how a single or equally arms hold limp as he retracts his palms within to then achieve up to operate the head. I am guessing he had a limited perspective by the mouth much too. So, thinking about all the animation/ puppeteering he had to do… even though dancing, it a surprise how he could even continue to be on his feet in that doubtlessly large suit, allow together essentially dance! This movie is so a great deal far more than just a ‘creepy’ curious spectacle.”

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