In the mid-twentieth century, The Bluebell Girls-dancers known particularly for their height and glamorous appearance-were recognized and admired throughout much of the world. At any one time, troupes appeared on several continents in a multitude of venues: theaters, clubs, on TV, at the Lido in Paris, and the Stardust in Las Vegas.
In Have Chignon-Will Travel: Touring Italy with the Bluebell Girls 1960-61, Elizabeth Dale Phillips takes you with her on an incredible odyssey, starting out as a shorthand-typist in London who had never danced professionally, and metamorphosing into an elegant Bluebell Girl. She begins in Milan as a rookie dancer on a bare stage with seventeen other dancers, a pianist, a drummer, and a choreographer. Over the next five exhausting weeks of rehearsals, she witnesses the creation of a polished show-a show in which over the next seven months, as a member of the company, she would tour every inch of Italy and Sicily.
Elizabeth, now in her eighties, tells her story with both candor and humor. It’s a tale of camaraderie and occasional strife, lots of glamour, even more hard work, and sometimes boredom, all while taking an excursion that most twenty-year-old women in 1960 could have only dreamed of.