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Harland Dixon and probably Doris Dixon
Harland and ?Doris Dixon?

Stage Name

Birth Name

Harland Dixon

Harland Dixon

Dixon and Doyle  
Dixon and Malone  

   Half the dance team of Dixon and Doyle. Pioneer character dancer Harland Dixon was not the greatest dancer but still was a very good one and was considered one of the most durable and adaptable dancers around. Harland started to learn to dance around age 12 in his local gymnasium and has stated that for about a year he made a nuisance of himself whenever they would let him dance. Is said to have got his real calling when watching Johnny Ford and  Mamie Gerhue dance in "Lovers and Lunatics" at the Grand Theatre in Toronto.

 

   As young boys, Jimmy Malone  and Dixon teamed up and started dancing at Stag parties doing Schottisches, Buck and Wings etc. for very low pay. While traveling with Malone, Dixon saw George Primrose and his Minstrels which influenced him greatly and upon meeting him and getting an audition, he was headed for New York. Upon arriving in New York, Dixon got a few odd jobs waiting for Primrose to return. In 1906 Primrose hired Dixon and Malone for $15 dollars a week and were off to New Jersey for their first rehearsal.

    While on the road with the  Primrose Minstrels  for a year and a half, Dixon watched Primrose and worked out a new style, based upon Primrose except he basically would do the exact opposite, almost a comedy version of Primrose. Primrose was upright, Dixon slouched, Primrose had straight legged movements and on Dixon they were bent etc. His style had allot of jaunty upper body and shoulder movements as well.

    In 1907 Dixon left Primrose's Minstrels and started touring on his own with the  Dockstader's Minstrels. Upon this tour he was impressed by a Jig dancer by the name of Jimmy Monahan  who he says he stole allot of his moves from. He got many of his hand gestures from dancer  Henry E. Dixey.   Dixon could and did copy everyone he saw and modified the movements/ steps a little to make them his own. However he did create some unusual steps of his own such as his Shoulder Twists and Knee-Snap which was to become used by most of the dancers of the day.

    In 1908 Dixon gave up his wooden shoes for split shoes and received a better offer to dance on the Orpheum Circuit, Dockstader was said not to be very happy. Dixon was now teamed up with dancer Jack Corcoran and finally working for a small time in Burlesque up to about 1912 when he teamed with Jimmy Doyle, now dressing in Top Hats and Tails, headed for the Broadway Theatre . After a few brief but successful appearances on small Broadway shows they appeared in Broadway to Paris doing what was called "Character dances" which was becoming the vogue at the time. They would sing, dance and do a version of a Challenge dance offering contrast to their routine. Dixon would do a step and Doyle would do it differently etc. One of their skits was the exchanging of hats, Doyle's head was much bigger than Dixon's, and after they swapped hats during a split, they would come up with odd looking expressions with hats that didn't fit. Dixon and Doyle danced together for a total of nine years, with Dixon leaving to dance on his own.

    Dixon had a knack for the character dances and imitated them all; Indian, Irish, Russian, Chinese, Negro, Coon, Constable, Tramp, City Slicker etc. As Tap dance and Vaudeville went out of style due to Radio and Films, Harland headed to Hollywood where he would do some Dance Direction and choreography. He was even James Cagney's dance instructor for awhile. He was still dancing up till his death in 1969 in Jackson Heights, New York, USA.


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

Toronto, Canada 8/4/1885 - 6/27/1969 ?Doris Dixon? n/a
        ??  

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballroom Doris Dixon I'm Crazy About You (Palace Theatre)
Buck and Wing Gertrude Lawrence (1926)      
Cakewalk Jack Corcoran (1908)      
Eccentric Jimmy (James) P. Doyle    
Five Step (see photos there w/ Dixon) Jimmy Malone (1906)    
Lancashire Clog Mae Clark    
Tap      
Virginia Essence      

Films

Theaters

Stage

1935 - Dublin in Brass (Dance Director) Alvin Theatre (1951) 1912 - Broadway to Paris (w/ Malone?)
1935 - Roof Tops of Manhattan (Choreog) Globe Theatre [1920] 1913 - Honeymoon Express (w/ Doyle)
1935 - Surprise (Choreog) Imperial Theatre (1927) 1915 - Dancing Around (w/ Doyle)
1935-37 - WB Shorts (Dance Director) Palace Theatre [1916] 1915 - Stop, Look and Listen (w/ Doyle)
1936 - I'm Much Obliged (Choreog) Winter Garden [1933-34] 1916 - Century Girl (w/ Doyle)
1936 - Maid for a Day (choreog)       1917 - Jack 'O Lantern (w/ Doyle)
1936 - Rhythmitis (Choreog)       1917 - Chin Chin (w/ Doyle)
1937 - Du Barry Did All Right (danced)     1918 - The Canary (w/ Doyle)
1937 - Something to Sing About (danced)     1920 - Hitchy Koo (w/ Doyle)
1937 - Flowers in the Sky (Broadway Brevity)     1920 - Tip Top (Dixon)
      1922 - Good Morning Dearie (Dixon)
      1923 - Kid Boots
      1923 - Ziegfeld Follies
      1926 - Oh Kay! (w/Lawrence)
      1927 - Manhattan Mary
      1928 - Rainbow
      1929 - Heads Up!
      1930 - Top Speed
      1932 - Better Times
      1933 - Dilly Dally
      1934 - Life Begins at 8:40
      1934 - Anything Goes
      1945 - Marinka
      1951 - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
      1962 - Old Bucks and New Wings

Night Clubs / Other

Television

Publications

2nd Place - In Old Kentucky [1903] n/a $1964 - Jazz Dance (Marshall Stearns)
Diamond Horseshoe (Billy Rose's)    
         
             
             

NOTE:

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