Ruth Page

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Ruth Page (22 March 1899 – 7 April 1991) was an American ballerina and choreographer, considered a pioneer in creating works on American themes. To the classical ballet vocabulary she added movements from sports, popular dance and everyday gestures.

Life[edit]

Family[edit]

She was married to attorney Thomas Hart Fisher from 1925 to 1969 and to artist Andre Delfau from 1983 until her death. She is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. Page's brother, Irvine H. Page, was a noted physician and scientist who married Beatrice Allen Page, who was, herself, a dancer and a published author and poet. Ruth Page's great-niece, Emily Page, is an artist who focuses much of her artwork on dance.

Career[edit]

Born in Indianapolis, Ruth Page studied with Adolph Bolm in New York, and after a tour of South America with the company of Anna Pavlova, she joined Bolm's Ballet Intime. In 1919 she came to Chicago to dance the leading role in Birthday of the Infanta, based on a play by Oscar Wilde, choreographed by Bolm to a score by John Alden Carpenter. Page and Bolm appeared in a short experimental dance film Danse Macabre (1922) directed by Dudley Murphy.

After dancing in a Broadway musical, she returned to Chicago in 1924 as principal dancer with Bolm's Allied Arts Ballet. From 1926 to 1931 she was principal dancer and choreographer for the Ravinia Opera Company. While dancing and directing the ballet ensemble for the Chicago Opera Company (from 1934 to 1945, with several off-seasons), Page co-directed with Bentley Stone the Dance Project of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Theatre (1938 and 1939). From 1954 to 1969 she directed the ballet for Lyric Opera of Chicago and toured America in the company known as Ruth Page's Opera Ballet, choreographing full-scale ballets on opera subjects. She was choreographer for several of Vladimir Rosing's state centennial spectaculars, including The Kansas Story in 1961.

In 1965 Page choreographed a large-scale production of The Nutcracker, which was presented annually through 1997 by the Chicago Tribune Charities in the Arie Crown Theatre. On retiring from active choreography, Page created the Ruth Page Foundation, which established the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance, as it was originally known, and which later became the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, as it is known now.[1]

Page wrote an autobiography, Page by Page, which was published in 1978.

Ruth Page Center for the Arts[edit]

Ruth Page Civic Ballet[edit]

The Ruth Page Civic Ballet is the official youth training performance company of the Ruth Page School of Dance and one of its Artists In-Residence. The company of talented young dancers is now in its 16th season and was founded in 1998 by Larry and Dolores Long, the original directors of the Ruth Page School of Dance.

Serving as a bridge between ballet training and professional performance, the Ruth Page Civic Ballet provides performance opportunities for advanced dance students from the School as a means of continuing their training. Members of the company will train in this program before moving on to national and international professional dance companies. The Civic's dancers are joined in performances by notable guest artists and choreographers, expanding their sphere of professional work.

Central to the Civic's performance schedule since 2003 is the annual presentation of "The Nutcracker," the popular recreation of the beloved holiday classic. Originally presented in the Arie Crown Theatre from 1965 to 1997, the Ruth Page Civic Ballet performances recreates Ruth Page's beloved original full-length staging. Exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets, "The Nutcracker" promises world-class entertainment and holiday joy for children of all ages.[2]

Ruth Page Award[edit]

Recipients:

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]