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Adolph Bolm: The International Dancer

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0030b
Run Time
0h 4m 30s
Date Produced
circa 1923
Adolph Bolm (1884-1951) was a Russian-born American ballet dancer and choreographer who famously traveled throughout most of his life, dancing and starting ballet companies.  Most famously, he was Anna Pavlova's partner while dancing for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.  Ruth Page studied with him in New York during the 1910s, and he moved to Chicago from 1919.  While there, he founded Chicago Allied Arts and collaborated with Page on "Danse Macabre" and other projects.

This film appears to represent a collection of photos of Adloph Bolm's more famous roles, footage of him in the dance studio, and excerpts of rehearsals and performances of his works.  The film canister of a duplicate version suggests that the film may have been assembled in 1923, and includes pictures/footage from his company Ballet Intime.
The film opens with a direction credit and the title, followed by introductory text: "Adolph Bolm, formerly of the Russian Imperial Theatre, Diaghilev's, Metropolitan and Chicago Civic Opera Ballets, in some of his most famous interpretations".  After a series of photographs of Bolm in costumes comes another text insertion: "At his studio".  This is followed by footage of Bolm in a studio with other dancers by a piano, experimenting with an elaborate mask.  (This footage was later included in "Ruth Page: An American Original.")  Next, another text insert, as caption: "Wearing one of the masks executed by Helmute Schmidt".  A bit more of the mask footage follows; afterwards, more text: "A member of the Bolm Ballet performing 'Sunlight Dance'". After this is footage of a female dancer rehearsing said piece in a dance studio.  Then, more text: "'Voices of Spring' inspired by Boticelli".  The corresponding footage includes three female dancers in costume, apparently rehearsing on a small stage.  Then, more text: "'Graceful--rhythmical,' interrupts the master, as Vera Mirova enters".  The film then returns to the scene with the three female dancers, where Bolm enters to give them corrections and then turns to Vera Mirova as she enters in a more elaborate costume. Then, more text: "Preparing for the 'Javanese Court Dance'".  Followed by a return to the same performance, where Bolm examines Mirova by circling her once, and the camera remains on her as she articulates complex arm gestures and seats herself.  Then, more text: "A modern number now in preparation, danced to Serge Prokofiev's music".  Footage of the number in question is set in the same space, with two female dancers flanking Bolm at center.  The women switch poses while holding a rope; Bolm does so while holding two large wooden triangles.  Then, more text: "After rehearsal, a moment of repose".  Here, Bolm is perched calmly in a brick windowsill.  Then, more text, as caption: "Gazing at the grounds of the next World's Fair, as he visualizes some of the productions to come".  This is followed by a MCU of Bolm looking out the same window.  The film ends there.
Main Credits
Matsoukas, Nick John (is director)
Additional Credits
Bolm, Adolph (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Bolm, Adolph (is performer)
Mirova, Vera (is performer)