dontate now

Join Email List

Facebook  Become a Fan on Facebook
twitter  Follow Us on Twitter

329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

Search Collections

Dance of the Hours [1949]

Bookmark and Share
Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0021
Run Time
0h 8m 47s
Date Produced
"Dance of the Hours" is a ballet based on the opera La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli (first performed in 1876), taken from its Act III finale. The ballet is meant to represent the eternal struggle between forces of light and darkness, unfolding over the course of the hours in a day. It uses Ponchielli's original music and costumes by Nicolai Remisoff. The ballet premiered by the Chicago Grand Opera Ballet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Pabst Theatre on October 29, 1949. This film appears to represent a portion of one of the early dress rehearsals, danced with full costumes, filmed from the balcony of a theater.
The film opens with a view of a stage from a balcony. Three dancers enter, the two men dancing briefly and the woman simply walking; the camera then cuts to an empty stage. Soon three female dancers in flowing dresses and pointe shoes (perhaps representing "morning") enter and dance as an ensemble. When their dance is complete and they pose in a seated formation, three more women in different costumes (perhaps "afternoon") join them; the three newcomers seem to encourage the others to watch them perform. After the three dance as an ensemble, they take turns performing brief solos. Once they come back together, the "afternoons" go to one side of the stage and the "mornings" scurry to the other while a third set of three women in a third style of costume (perhaps "evening") enter to dance at center. Afterwards, they, too, take a position lining the stage and make way for a final group to enter: three men (perhaps "night"). After the "nights" dance briefly, the groups of women all circle around them; the men then break apart the clusters of women, one by one, and partner up with the "evenings." The other two groups stand posed while these six dance a pas de deux as an ensemble. After striking a final pose, the couples run to the bag and form a row behind the "mornings" and "afternoons," and all dance together as a two-row ensemble. This transitions into a brief reprise by the "mornings" at center, followed by a solo from one of the "nights," a solo from one of the "afternoons," a solo by a "morning," and finally a solo by an "evening." Afterward, the "nights" return to center for a lively ensemble dance. Then all rearrange for the finale; "nights" and "evenings" again pair up, all circle around into a final formation and strike a final pose. Once all leave their poses and 'break character' as they would once the curtain goes down, the film ends.
Additional Credits
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)