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Combinations [1963]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0024
Run Time
0h 12m 20s
Date Produced
"Combinations" is an off-beat, abstract ballet about being on the telephone. It was choreographed by Ruth Page, with a score by Isaac Van Grove and designs by André Delfau.  It premiered on October 31, 1963 at Chicago Teachers College (now Chicago State University), and was then performed on tour in 1964. This film appears to be excerpts from a rehearsal of the ballet, located in a small auditorium setting in which practice clothes are worn.
The film opens with a shot of a small auditorium stage without wings, in which a man in practice clothes is rehearsing a solo.  Female dancers are seen standing on the sidelines.  When his solo ends in a kneeling position, the two female dancers (in practice leotards and flat shoes) join him "onstage" for a moment; he exits and leaves them to dance a duet.  As they bow, the man reenters and the film cuts forward to another solo of his.  After he makes a mistake, the camera cuts to a second attempt.  Eventually, he stops and bows, after which the camera cuts to a solo by one of the female dancers.  She is then joined by another man, and the two dance a pas de deux.  He then exits, leaving her to do solo.  She completes the solo with a long chain of turns and a final silly kneel, fingers pointed winkingly at the "audience."  The film then cuts to another duet between the two women, and again to a(nother) pas de deux between one of the men and one of the women.  As he carries her across the stage, they cross behind the other woman, apparently dancing a solo of her own at the same time.  When the man releases his partner, she once again joins the other woman.  (The segment that follows appears to be a partial repeat of their previous duet.)  Then, as they fall to their knees, the two men enter and pick them up, carrying them "offstage" and putting them down.  The camera then cuts back to the original male dancing a solo--a pianist is spotted playing on the sidelines this time.  The other three dancers soon join him so that all four engage in an ensemble dance, which soon breaks into two couples.  Eventually the second couple exits to allow the first another pas de deux.  Before it is complete, the camera cuts again to all four dancers moving as an ensemble again.  The ballet seems to end as one man lifts the other, and then the first couple collapses to the ground.  In any case, the film ends here.
Additional Credits
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Klekovic, Patricia (is performer)
Kayan, Orrin (is performer)