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Harlequinade [1947?]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0011
Run Time
0h 16m 55s
Format
16mm
Color
B&W
Sound
Silent
Date Produced
1947
Abstract
Harlequinade is a "ballet play" choreographed by Ruth Page and Bentley Stone, with words by Robert Halsband and music by Riccardo Drigo. The two premiered it in August of 1948 at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Lee, Massachusetts. This film represents a rehearsal version, probably in 1947, in a dance studio. Page and Stone are both in full costume.
Description
The film opens with Page (presumably in the role of Columbine) and Stone (presumably in the role of Harlequin) posed together in a dance studio setting. The two begin a lighthearted pas de deux, with Page visibly speaking the words prepared for the piece by Robert Halsband. The camera cuts a few times during the pas, but generally retains continuity. Nearly two minutes in, she leaves Stone on a Bench and begins a mainly-spoken solo; the camera then cuts back to Stone on the bench, who begins a part-dance, part-spoken word solo of his own. Before he completes this portion, however, the camera cuts back to the point where her solo begins and continues again from there. Page soon reenters the frame with additional costuming and a prop baby, apparently impersonating a nanny, nurse, or new mother. The two then dance another pas de deux which includes tossing the "baby" back and forth. Eventually it is dropped and Page rips off the costume, angrily placing blame on Stone's character and beginning another spoken-word section. She then exits, leaving the "baby" behind; she reenters again dressed as a sort of exotic show girl, capturing his attention with her provocative dance with a fan. Next, Page takes a lounging position on the ground and Stone appears to pine over her, wagging one of her legs back and forth as if it were his microphone. He then seems to beg her to dance with him, but she acts coy until he angers her, at which point she actively admonishes him before exiting again. Stone then dances a solo, during which Page reappears in yet another costume and the two have another spoken exchange, followed by another pas de deux. In the middle of this dance, however, Stone is suddenly startled and afraid of Page, grabbing the bench he sat on before and using it to fend her off/hide under. They soon make up, however, and embrace each other on the bench. Shortly upset again, Page's character exits, crying; Stone's character dances and speaks a quite animated solo. At the end of it, he collapses from the excitement, and Page reenters in another new costume, highly concerned. She dances a grieving solo, during which Stone's character sneakily gets up to show the audience that he is alive, but plays dead each time she gets a hunch and checks on him. Eventually, he shows himself to her while she is crying and the two embrace happily. They dance a quick and merry final pas de deux, during which the camera cuts several times. Stone's character then exits, leaving Page to conclude alone with a brief chunk of mostly-speech, followed by a curtsy. The film ends there.
Additional Credit
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Stone, Bentley (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Page, Ruth (is performer)
Stone, Bentley (is performer)
Genre
Dance
Subject
Dance