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The Harvest - Doctor Bat (Die Fledermaus) [1961, Chicago, Civic Opera House]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0040
Run Time
0h 6m 55s
color and B&W
Date Produced
"The Harvest" is a ballet by Ruth Page, choreographed to Vittorio Giannini's opera by the same name.  The world premiere of both the opera and the ballet was November 25, 1961 at the Chicago Civic Opera House.  Ruth Page's Chicago Opera Ballet danced alongside the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  

"Die Fledermaus" (or "Dr. Bat") is a 3-scene ballet comedy choreographed by Ruth Page, with music by Johann Strauss, arranged and orchestrated by Isaac Van Grove. It was premiered with "Concertino Pour Trois" on January 9, 1961 in Rockford, IL. Costumes and scenery were designed by André Delfau.

This film appears to include both a rehearsal of "The Harvest" at the Chicago Civic Opera House (with costumes but no sets) and part of a rehearsal of a Rosalina solo and a Rosalina/Gabriel pas de deux from Act 2 of "Die Fledermaus" (Doctor Bat) (with neither costumes nor sets).
The film opens in color with a shot of a stage, full of men and women in American folk costumes.  As a group, they dance a ballet version of a square dance, involving both partner dances and ensemble dances.  One couple in particular emerges as the leading couple at center; their choreography differs somewhat from the rest.  When this couple exits, another briefly takes their place.  As the dancers switch into a new formation, the film switches to black and white.  The women form a line lead by a man; the men form another line led by a woman, and in the middle a lone man dances a solo.  Next, the dancers form a row of arches and open back out into a circle with a central couple in the middle.  This then evolves back into an ensemble dance, with the couples occasionally doubling up into groups of four; a "star" formation is also involved.  All then spread out again and regroup into couples; not long after, they strike a final pose.

The film then cuts to part of a rehearsal of "Die Fledermaus."  Rosalina, Gabriel von Eisenstein's wife, dances a solo around her budoir.  Other dancers are sometimes visble as observing from offstage.  The film then cuts forward to the beginning of a pas de deux between Rosalina and her husband: she sits at her budoir, preparing for a ball, and he admires her.  They switch places so that he can then admire himself in the mirror.  Just as she notices he is paying more attention to his own reflection than to her, the film ends.
Additional Credits
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Kayan, Orrin (is performer)
Klekovic, Patricia (is performer)
Johnson, Kenneth (is performer)
Long, Larry (is performer)
Gimpel, Ellen (is performer)
Related Place
Chicago (production location of)