Today in 1886 the Folies Bergères opened its first revue. Based around beautiful women, extravagant costumes, and elaborate sets, the revues at the Folies would launch the careers of many French performers and one very important American.
Josephine Baker made her Folies debut in 1926 in La Folie du Jour. Clad solely in a skirt made from fake bananas she danced the “Danse Sauvage” and brought the house down. She would become an immensely popular performer in Paris, staring in other stage shows and a series of films; on stage she would sometimes be joined by her pet Cheetah, Chiquita, who could often be seen accompanying Josephine through the streets of Paris.
Looking at these photos, it's not hard to understand why Josephine was the toast of the town.
A film clip of her performing the dance she made famous at the Folies Begere can be seen here.