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Gone dancing

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I went to something of a ball last night at The Salon, where there were lots of beautiful people dressed to the nines and dancing the night away - so it seemed fully appropriate to put up some missed connection ads from people who were in my shoes over 100 years ago.

Also, to the photographer who kept looking up at me when I was on the balcony and then totally disappeared when I came downstairs to swing dance with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra: this one's for you.  (How meta.)


Arion Ball. - Will the tall lady dressed in black, who received her mask from a gentleman after supper, at the Academy of Music, oblige an admirer by sending her address to Arion, Herald office?
Arion Ball. - Beautiful eyes, teeth no dentist can improve, who noticed one of the two gents in adjoining box about 3 A.M., wore plaid shawl on leaving Academy; is it possible for the gent to make your acquaintance?  If agreeable please describe dress to avoid mistakes and address, in confidence, William Cromwell, box 171 Herald office.
Arion Ball - Will the lady who wore cherry evening dress with white over (and who received marked attention from Rufus H.), communicate with an admirer of her dancing?  Address F.M., Herald office.
Aw, I love these.  I can totally picture this, can't you?  It probably looked a little bit like this picture.

I was almost, but not quite, there myself.  Can't you see the lady in the cherry evening dress waltzing across the floor like she was floating on air while all eyes are upon her in envy?  And the woman with the dazzling teeth!  She must have been smiling with delight as she watched the dancers from her box (perhaps with passed hors d'oeuvres periodically going by?).  I admit, I was home by 2am and I was beat - I can't imagine still being out at 3 in the morning.  These people were real party-goers!


And masks!  That must have created such an air of mystery!  This painting by Monet is from only three years after these ads were placed, so you never know, it really might have looked something like this - although there are an awful lot of men in that room and not so many women (no cherry dresses either).

Actually all these ads about masked balls make me think of that scene in Labyrinth which I can't find any good pictures of, but that's another story.

Anyway, missed connections from balls are my favorites because the ones from men to women they saw on the street or in coaches often seem a little tawdry and stalker-ish (though NOT always by any means), but these are so cool because these dances were such rich, opulent affairs full of allure and romance.  Maybe still just a little bit true today...

©2011 Pam Epstein

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