Author: Irene Castle
Born: Apr 17, 1893 New Rochelle, NY
Passed: Jan 25, 1969 Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Film: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
Vernon and Irene Castle were a husband-and-wife team of ballroom dancers of the early 20th century. They are credited with invigorating the popularity of modern dancing.
Vernon Castle (2 May 1887 - 15 February 1918) was born William Vernon Blyth in Norwich, Norfolk, England. Irene Castle (17 April 1893 - 25 January 1969) was born Irene Foote, the daughter of a prominent physician in New Rochelle, New York.
The Castles' initial fame began in Paris, where they introduced American ragtime dances, such as the Turkey Trot and the Grizzly Bear. When the Castles returned to the U.S., their success was repeated on a far wider scale. Making their New York debut in 1912 at a branch of the Cafe de Paris, operated by Louis Martin, who had given them their start in Paris, the duo were soon in demand on stage, in vaudeville and in motion pictures.
In 1914, the couple opened a dancing school in New York called "Castle House", a nightclub called "Castles By the Sea" on the Boardwalk in Long Beach, New York, and a restaurant, "Sans Souci." At Castle House, they taught New York society the latest dance steps by day, and greeted guests and performed at their club and cafe by night. They also were in demand for private lessons and appearances at fashionable parties.
The Castles also became staples of Broadway. Among their shows were The Sunshine Girl (1913) and Watch Your Step (1914), which boasted a score written by Irving Berlin with them in mind. Emerging as America?s premier dance team, the Castles were trendsetters in a number of arenas. Their infectious enthusiasm for dance encouraged admirers to try new forms of social dance. Considered paragons of respectability and class, the Castles specifically helped remove the stigma of vulgarity from close dancing. The Castles? performances, often set to ragtime and jazz rhythms, also popularized African-American music among well-heeled whites. Irene?s fashion sense, too, started national trends. Her elegant, yet simple, flowing gowns were often featured in fashion magazines. She is also credited with introducing American women to the bob?the short hairstyle favored by flappers in the 1920s.
The Castles endorsed Victor Records and Victrolas, issuing records by the Castle House Orchestra, led by James Reese Europe ?? a pioneering figure in Black music. They also lent their names to advertising for other merchandising products, from cigars and cosmetics to shoes and hats.
The Castles' greatest success was on Broadway, in Irving Berlin's debut musical Watch Your Step (1914). In this extravaganza, the couple refined and popularized the Foxtrot, which vaudeville comedian Harry Fox is believed to have invented. After its New York run, Watch Your Step toured through 1916.>
The movie, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, is based on the book My Husband (1919) and short stories My Memories of Vernon Castle (Everybody's Magazine, Nov 1918-Mar 1919), by Irene Castle. The movie was adapted by Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Yost and Richard Sherman.
There is no information about the stories available on Wikipedia at this time, but here is a link to the Vernon and Irene Castle entry.Read film information at Wikipedia
Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle: