Josephine Baker rose from a life of hardship to become the sensual and sensational darling of Art Deco Paris. Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1906, working for an abusive white woman at the age of 8 and dropping out of school to live rough aged 12, her dancing on street corners got her noticed. She moved to New York to take part in the renaissance gripping the neighbourhood of Harlem, and it was not long before she crossed the Atlantic to dance in the French capital. It was at the notorious Folies Bergere that she performed her infamous Danse Sauvage in 1925, wearing the iconic banana skirt that became her trademark.

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