Photograph Album about the Dancing Cancinos
[Los Angeles]: Circa 1920s-1930s. 7 x 11 inch photo album + assorted ephemera and snapshots. Photo album: commercial black string-bound album with black construction paper leaves; 27 leaves used, recto only, containing 9 b&w photos and 17 RPPCs (most affixed with corner mounts, but a few pasted in), two laid-in RPPCs of Rita Hayworth, and 5 mounted or pasted-in pieces of ephemera. An additional 11 pieces of ephemera are laid in, mostly programs, as well as 10 b&w snapshots and RPPCs of what appear to be unidentified members of the Cansino family, and six copies of a blank consent form for the Cansino Studio to use the name of the student, presumably in its programs and promotional material.
Fold lines and light wear, foxing and soiling to ephemera; small ink stain to corner of one flyer; ink signatures to some of the photographs; a few photographs creased; one piece of ephemera nearly split at a fold line; tear to one leaf. Several items neatly removed from other photo albums or scrapbooks and still pasted to those original pages, with the latter then pasted into this album. Good to Very Good condition overall.
A photograph album / scrapbook compiled of rare images and ephemera relating to the Dancing Cansinos, a family of professional dancers who emigrated from Spain and eventually settled in Los Angeles. The troupe was comprised of Antonio, Sr., and Carmen Cansino; their children Eduardo, Elisa, Paco, Jose, Antonio, Jr., Rafael and Angel; Gabriel Cansino, a cousin; and, briefly in the 1930s, Margarita Carmen Cansino, who later became known as the actress Rita Hayworth; her parents were Eduardo and Volga Hayworth. The Dancing Cancinos, and Elisa in particular, played a major role in bringing Spanish and Romani dances to the United States.
The album, which appears to have been painstakingly compiled from a variety of sources, is primarily composed of professional posed images of the Cansino dancers. An RPPC portrait of Eduardo and Elisa opens the album, soon followed by a backstage photograph of Gabriel and other dancers (possibly including Elisa) at a theatre, several RPPCs of the Cansinos striking dance poses and in costume, and an inscribed photograph of Gabriel. Other images of the Cansinos include a handful of vernacular snapshots of several members of the family on a boat, and one of what appears to Gabriel on a horse.
Additional images include a group portrait photo of a party in what appears to be Seville, images of other dancers and performers that either performed with the Cansinos or, possibly, were students. The former include Nicholas Tsoukalas and Carmen and Pepe Guerrero, while the latter are a woman identified only as Coco, in San Francisco (where Carmen opened a studio) and an unidentified woman in a swimsuit.
The ephemera is varied, but primarily related to Gabriel Cansino. Included is a 1927 holograph note for a monetary transaction in Madrid between Antonio and Gabriel; two promotional cards from 1925 and circa 1930, a program for a celebration of Mexico's independence held in San Francisco in 1931 and at which Gabriel performed; a mockup of an ad featuring Elisa and Gabriel in Who's Who in Music and Dance in Southern California; a flyer for an appearance by Elisa in Toronto; and programs for California performances by Gabriel.
Primary material about the Dancing Cansinos is rare. A small collection of material on Eduardo and Elisa is held by the Museum of Performance and Design in San Francisco, and OCLC locates only a handful of images at other institutions.