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Repertoire Workshop From Chicago: Pygmalion & Concertino Pour Trois [1966]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0143
Run Time
0h 27m 47s
Format
16mm
Color
B&W
Sound
Optical
Date Produced
1966
Abstract
"Pygmalion" is a ballet choreographed by Ruth Page, loosely based on the Ancient Greek myth.  It premiered in January 1963 in Park Ridge, Illinois, with music by Franz von Suppé (adapted and orchestrated by Isaac Van Grove) and costumes and scenery by André Delfau.

"Concertino Pour Trois" was choreographed by Ruth Page in 1961 to a commissioned score by Marius Constant and with costumes designed by André Delfau. It premiered in Rockford, Illinois on January 9, 1961. 

The versions of these ballets recorded in this film are combined into a special performance from the 1960s CBS television series Repertoire Workshop.  It was recorded on April 11, 1966 and performed by "the Ruth Page Dancers;" it was televised on May 21, 1966.
Description
The film opens with a shot of the clapperboard for the present episode (6-65) of Repertoire Workshop by WBBM Chicago.  This is followed by a blank screen and countdown beeps before a cut to opening credits, which roll over a shot of a female statue (Galatea): "REPERTOIRE WORKSHOP FROM CHICAGO...PRESENTS... THE RUTH PAGE DANCERS...IN... PYGMALION...AND...CONCERTINO FOR THREE."  This is followed by additional onscreen text narrating the basic Pygmalion story: "Pygmalion, the sculptor, madly infatuated with his statue, spurns the loving attentions of his model.  She, aided by the sculptor's assistant, tricks Pygmalion back to his senses, and into her arms."  

The film then cuts to the first scene of Pygmalion, in which a model (Phryné) stands beside a statue (Galatea) in a workshop where pieces of statues are scattered about.  The sculptor Pygmalion enters to complete the finishing touches on Galatea.  Phryné, enamoured, breaks from her modeling pose and dances toward the sculptor.  She wraps herself around him but he ignores her, favoring the statue.  As Phryné continues to fight for his attention, Pygmalion grows fed up with her interruptions, so he places a cloth over his work and walks away while drinking from a bottle.  She chases after him.

Pygmalion's assistant Ganymede then enters Pygmalion's workshop and, finding himself alone with Galatea, dances a silly and mischeivous solo during which he excitedly peeks under her cloth covering.  Once he has completed it and rests on the floor, Phryné reenters and tells Ganymede of her unrequited feelings for Pygmalion (of which he disapproves).  She then tries to convince Ganymede to hide the statue, thereby allowing her to take its place.  He agrees to help her only after she blows him a kiss.  Then, after Ganymede carries Galatea offstage, Phryné dances a jubilant solo, which she completes when Ganymede returns and points toward the statue's new location offstage.

The two then hear Pygmalion approaching, so Ganymede helps Phryné up on the pedestal to take her place.  He throws the shroud on her head, but stays underneath it with her until Pygmalion appears and angrily throws him out of the studio.  He then contentedly examines his "statue."  Without thinking, he allows Phryné to drink from the bottle and, astonished, believes that his beloved Galatea has come to life.  The two then dance a loving pas de deux, which they complete by lying down together.

Ganymede then reenters with the bottle in hand and dances a drunken solo around the couple, who appear to be engaging in 'pillow talk' on the ground.  He then disturbs the couple; Phryné jumps up and swats at a still-supine Pygmalion, then dancing merrily with Ganymede.  Pygmalion becomes angry and thrusts an umbrella into Ganymede's stomach before struggling with Phryné over it.  She then begins throwing pillows at him while Ganymede returns the statue to its rightful place.  

Exhausted, Pygmalion turns around and sees Galatea on her pedestal, after which Phryné runs back onstage to resume her modeling duties.  Pygmalion accuses her of tricking him but she feigns innocence.  Ganymede soon convinces her to come clean, however, and Pygmalion, realizing the humor in the situation, calms down and joins the other two in a happy jig.  Phryné brings forth the statue's convering and incorporates it in their dance.  Eventually finding herself all wrapped up in it, Phryné gets carried off by her beloved and Ganymede is happily left with the statue.

Interim credits then appear onscreen (see below) before the film cuts to the spare set of Concertino for Three, on which a single male dancer stands posed.  The title flashes onscreen for a moment before the man begins a long solo.  When he completes it, he crouches on the ground and a female soloist enters and begins a solo of her own.  She ends it by joining the seated man and engaging him in a pas de deux of sorts--he remains seated.  Their interaction then suddenly turns from affectionate to agitated as the man pushes the woman away and finally stands up to dance more fully.  After awhile, they reconcile and dance affectionately again.  The pas de deux then becomes increasingly frenetic until the third member of the trio (another man) enters and joins them.  

The first man exits almost immediately and the second man breaks into a jazzy solo while the woman looks on.  She eventually joins him for a playful pas de deux.  The lights suddenly dim and the two begin a much more dramatic dance.  Just as soon as they dimmed, the lights then brighten up again and the two dance wildly for a moment, before the first man rejoins them and tries to initiate a competition over the woman.  She intervenes, however, and the three dance together in harmony.  Eventually, the two men kneel to watch the woman dance a solo, after which each man dances his own solo in turn, and then all come back together again.

Soon afterward, the three all collapse to the ground and gather in a final pose to end the concertino.  Segment credits then begin to roll over them, followed by a cut to final credits.  (See below).
Distributors
WBBM-TV
Main Credit
Robbins, Bill (is director)
Cahill, Paul (is producer)
CBS (corporate name)
Additional Credit
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Von Suppé, Franz (is composer)
Van Grove, Isaac (music)
Constant, Marius (is composer)
Kayan, Neal (is contributor)
McClelland, Bill (is lighting director)
Santschi, Roger (is contributor)
Klinke, William (sound)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Klekovic, Patricia (is performer)
Schick, Charles (is performer)
Kayan, Orrin (is performer)
Genre
Dance
Related Place
Chicago (production location of)