Date Of Production
This brief film represents a peak 'backstage' before a dance performance, presumably during the first U.S. tour of Ruth Page's Chicago Opera Ballet, in 1957. Dancers are seen preparing their hair, makeup, and costumes. Many smile and wave at the camera. Of particular interest is brief footage of Ruth Page herself, as well as Sonia Arova, who was contracted specifically for this tour.
The film begins with a MS of a female dancer seated at a dressing table, putting pins in her hair; belongings are strewn about and other dancers are similarly occupied in the background. She notices the camera and smiles; it then pans left to another dancer who smiles. Behind her, Ruth Page leans in and waves at the camera. The film then cuts to another female dancer seated before a mirror and adjusting her earrings, followed by a stream of other dancers also getting ready and smiling at the camera as it passes them. Many are in undergarments and rushing to cover themselves as the camera reaches them. Clown images are visible on some of the back walls.
After following a costumed female dancer scurrying away, the camera cuts again: this time to the male dancers, who seem to be clustered in a separate, smaller room. As it pans back and forth across them, a few begin performing for the camera (such as presentational port de bras, pirouettes).
The camera then cuts back to the women. One dancer, backlit, poses seductively in undergarments with a feathered hat atop a table. The camera cuts to views of other dancers with their feathered hats already pinned in place, and then cuts to Ruth Page, who is talking and gesturing. The film ends here.
1 min 20 sec
Has Been Digitized?
Language Of Materials
Participants And Performers