Frog Benders

Courtesy of New York State Museum
New York State Museum

Here’s a link to a new short piece about what was perhaps the most interesting costume in the Circus and the City exhibition. It belonged to Friede DeMarlo, a German-born dancer and circus performer who learned the art of ‘bending’ from her husband Harry DeMarlo in the 1910s. Their signature act, called “Frog’s Paradise,” was a combination dancing/contortion/aerial routine that they performed around the world in circus and vaudeville. The DeMarlos retired upstate and the New York State Museum eventually acquired a collection of their papers and memorabilia. For a rundown of their globe-trotting career and more on this wonderful collection, which includes scrapbooks, props, and a manuscript autobiography by Friede, see this article by curator Jennifer Lemak.