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Body KnowledgePerformance, Intermediality, and American Entertainment at the Turn of the Twentieth Century$
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Mary Simonson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199898015

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199898015.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 April 2021

Staging Intermediality: Darktown, Downtown

Staging Intermediality: Darktown, Downtown

(p.1) Prologue Staging Intermediality: Darktown, Downtown
Body Knowledge

Mary Simonson

Oxford University Press

In 1914, impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. bought a number from J. Leubrie Hill’s black-cast musical, My Friend from Kentucky (also known as Darktown Follies), and restaged it with his own white dancers in the Follies of 1914. Though the number’s migration has often been read as financially sanctioned minstrelsy, this chapter employs the phenomenon, and revue aesthetics more generally, as a starting point for consideration of intermediality as an early twentieth-century aesthetic. Typically associated with digital art and new media, the concept of intermediality aligns with turn-of-the-century artistic practices: performances staged media interactions through various texts, and also exchanged performers, practices, and personnel across medial boundaries. This chapter positions intermediality within a historical and theoretical framework, and in relation to existing scholarship on performance.

Keywords:   My Friend from Kentucky, Darktown Follies, Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr, Follies of 1914, J. Leubrie Hill, minstrelsy, revue, intermediality

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