Tuesday, 12 March 2013

New Brighton Palais de Danse

The New Brighton Palais de Danse was the name given sometime in 1926 to the ballroom located within New Brighton Tower:

The Ballroom was one of the largest in the world, with a sprung floor and dance band stage. The orchestra had as many as 60 players. Big bands played at the Tower, including Bert Yates, Bill Gregson and Victor Sylvester. Other well known artists appeared at the Ballroom including Mae West in November 1945. Well over 1,000 couples could dance without undue crowding. It was decorated in white and gold, with the emblems of various Lancashire towns. The Ballroom had a balcony, with seats to watch the dancers below. Behind this was an open space, where couples used to learn the dance without interfering with the more proficient ones. History of Wallasey

The phrase Palais De Danse was a popular name given to many dance halls in England during the early 20th Century conjuring up images of cosmopolitan Europe.

The above photograph is one of the most famous dance halls called Palais De Dansein Berlin before the First World War and maybe the precursor to the others. Read more on Malcolm Lowry @ 19th Hole

Lowry refers to the New Brighton Palais de Danse in his novel Ultramarine when Dana recalls dancing there with his girl friend Janet Travena; "I shut my eyes and imagined that this was indeed Janet and I dancing at the New Brighton Palais De Danse. (Pg 106) and later Dana and Janet see "the two saxophonists of the Palais de Danse, Zez and Mas..." (Pg. 130). These recollections are probably drawn from Lowry's visits to the ballroom with Tess Evans in 1927. Lowry may even have originally met Tess at one of the dances at the ballroom as she lived in nearby Liscard.

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