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Entries : Ruth Page: A Chicago Dance Institution
Ruth Page: A Chicago Dance Institution

Ruth Page: A Chicago Dance Institution

Dancer, choreographer, and ballet director, Ruth Page (1899–1991) was a pioneer in creating works on American themes. To the classical ballet vocabulary she added movements from sports, popular dance, and everyday gestures.

Born in Indianapolis, Ruth Page studied with Adolph Bolm in New York, and after a tour with the company of Anna Pavlova's ballet company she joined Bolm's Ballet Intime. In 1919 she came to Chicago to dance the leading role in Birthday of the Infanta, choreographed by Bolm to a score by Chicagoan John Alden Carpenter. After dancing in a Broadway musical, she returned to Chicago in 1924 as principal dancer with Bolm's Allied Arts Ballet. From 1926 to 1931 she was principal dancer and choreographer for the Ravinia Opera Company. While dancing and directing the ballet ensemble for the Chicago Opera Company (from 1934 to 1945, with several off-seasons), Page codirected with Bentley Stone the Dance Project of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Theatre (1938 and 1939). From 1954 to 1969 she directed the ballet for Chicago Lyric Opera and toured America in the company known as Ruth Page's Opera Ballet, choreographing full-scale ballets on opera subjects. In 1965 Page choreographed a large-scale production of The Nutcracker, which was presented annually through 1997 by the Chicago Tribune Charities in the Arie Crown Theatre. On retiring from active choreography, Page created the Ruth Page Foundation, which established a dance center.