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Impromptu Au Bois [1951, Freiburg im Breisgau, Theater Freiburg]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0104
Run Time
0h 19m 2s
Date Produced
"Impromptu au Bois" is a ballet choreographed by Ruth Page, with music by Jacques Ibert, and sets and costumes by Georges Wakhévitch. It was premiered in 1951 by the Ballets des Champs Elysées at the Städtische Bühnen (now called the Theater Freiburg or Freiburg Theatre) in Freiburg im Breisgau. This film appears to be a record of either a dress rehearsal in this theater or the performance itself; full sets and costumes are used.
The film opens with a shot of a stage, elaborately set in a park. In the center is a park bench occupied by a couple and a fellow reading a newspaper. Two gardeners soon enter and cross the stage, followed by various other park visitors. Following this, the amorous couple on the bench begins to disturb the man with the newspaper beside them. This man seems put off by their juvenile carrying on, fancying to court the woman himself--in a more gentlemanly way. He at first comes to fisticuffs with the current lover (a sort of antagonistic duet), and then attempts to woo the young lady. He is fairly successful; he also buys off the angered old lover with an expensive piece of jewelry so that the ex-lover exits, pleased, with his bounty. The gentleman dances for a moment with the young lady, and then brings forth a young entertainer who dances for the couple; soon, an entire troupe of entertainers enters and the couple joins them in an ensemble dance. During the merriment, the couple appears to get married. Eventually, the party of dancers exits just as abruptly as it entered, once again leaving the couple alone. They perform a brief pas de deux of increasing conflict until the new bride pushes her new husband away from her, apparently bursting into tears as he, incensed, walks offstage. She dramatically throws off her veil just as her old lover returns. The two then reunite with their own pas de deux. But once again, the gentleman (her new husband) returns and sweeps her off her feet as if nothing had happened. The two men soon begin fighting again, and this time the old lover seems to kill the new husband. At this point, two policemen enter the park and discover the body; soon the various other park visitors enter and seem to offer their condolences. All dance together while the young woman cries, but soon chaos breaks out when the police attempt to take away the old lover, but he breaks away just as the new husband wakes up, perfectly alive. All celebrate and the young woman is happily reunited with her original lover while her new husband dances merrily with other girls. This transitions into the finale, during which the original couple dances at center and the curtain goes down during their final embrace. After cutting to black for a few moments, the film then cuts to a closer view of the newlywed pas de deux, perhaps in rehearsal. This transitions into the young woman reuniting with her original lover and dancing a pas de deux with him as well; the film only cuts out as the new husband returns, just before their fight. It cuts to a "THE END" title; the film ends there.
Additional Credits
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Ohn, Gérard (is performer)
Fenonjois, Roger (is performer)
Related Place
Freiburg im Breisgau (production location of)