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Harlequinade (Part I) [1947]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0049
Run Time
0h 8m 32s
Date Produced
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 appears to represent part of an earlier dress rehearsal version, shot in low lighting conditions in 1947.
The film begins with a shot of a stage, in which a man (presumably Bentley Stone as Harlequin) and woman (presumably Ruth Page as Columbine) are dancing together in costume. As the camera follows them, it becomes apparent that the stage is sparsely set, with only a bench and a changing curtain. The two are performing an energetic pas de deux which also includes spoken word. Eventually, Page leaves Stone on the bench and performs a brief solo, mainly consisting of speech. She then exits, leaving Stone to perform one of his own. 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. During this dance, while Stone's character appears to passionately kiss Page's character, she tosses the baby away, immediately ripping off her mask and blaming him. A spoken exchange ensues, though Page's character soon exits and leaves Stone with the baby, speaking directly at the audience. Page reappears scantily clad, in something like a showgirl's costume; Stone tosses away the baby and stares at her covetously. He pursues her as she dances exotically with a paper 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 he speaks. He then stands up as she teases him from the ground; he tries to remove her headdress and thereby angers her, so she chases him. The rehearsal appears to stop here, as the two seem to walk out of character in some muddy final frames before the film ends.
Additional Credit
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Stone, Bentley (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Page, Ruth (is performer)
Stone, Bentley (is performer)