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(Rehearsal excerpts) [1930s & 1940s?]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0209
Run Time
0h 13m 50s
color and B&W
This film contains numerous unrelated segments (8 in total), most or all of which appear to be experiments and rehearsals.  The clips are in both black & white and color, apparently spanning at least two decades (the 1930s and 1940s); the two most easily identified rehearsals included are of "The Bells" (1946) and "Variations on Euclid" (1933).
The film begins with a black and white shot of a woman (Ruth Page?) standing in front of a fence wearing an Asian-inspired costume.  She performs what appear to be experimental variations on an 'exotic' dance, focused on the articulation of the limbs at their joints, often at sharp angles.

The film then cuts to a color shot of an Asian mask lying on the ground, followed by a cut to a woman in a jungle-print bathing suit wearing that mask and thick bracelets.  She is lying on a yellow blanket and contorting her body into various strenuous positions.  The film then cuts to close-ups of tension in her feet and hands before returning to a long shot of her body on the blanket, where it again shifts through various positions.

Next, the film cuts to color footage of a woman combining some of the movements from the first two clips on a stage in a metal bikini of sorts, adorned with an elaborate golden headdress.  She dances in front of sheets of gold being held up by masked assistants.  The film cuts forward past a costume change on the woman's part to a trio dance including her and the two (male) assistants in elaborate gold-accented costumes.  They continue to perform 'exotic' movements.  The film cuts forward again to a woman in an Arabian-styled costume and pointe shoes performing a solo dance more based in ballet.

After this, the film cuts to color footage of what appears to be a rehearsal for "The Bells" (as indicated by a stage containing its set from c. 1950).  However, on the stage are not dancers but a conductor looking down and conducting toward the orchestra pit.  A woman in street clothes joins him onstage, followed by another (apparently Ruth Page?), who grabs their hands and does a little curtsy before walking off.

Then the film cuts to a studio rehearsal in black and white, in which a woman (Ruth Page) wearing a sort of art deco fairy costume dances a solo between unidetifiable props and part of a carousel horse.  She holds a wand/riding crop and seems frightened by someone.  She completes her dance in a crouching position and the camera cuts to a shot of Page in a different costume in the same studio.  She wears a full skirt, a hat, and scarves tied to her wrists.  In this solo, she seems to be experiencing a range of intense emotions, sometimes moving quickly and other times slowly.  As she lands in a final pose, head in hands, the camera cuts once again.

The next segment appears to be an excerpt of a rehearsal of "Variations on Euclid," shot from off-center.  Dancers wear unitards and hold white rods, which also adorn some of the costumes in a fanned-out manner.  They perform an ensemble dance with these rods.

The film then cuts to a different ensemble dance, with a group of female dancers packed tightly together, wearing rather exotic 'tribal' costumes.  Around them, two female soloists (one in a white dress, one in darker layers) dance dramatically.

The film cuts one final time to a brief shot of a male soloist before ending.
Additional Credits
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Page, Ruth (is performer)