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Romeo and Juliet [March 1969, Kewanne] - Nutcracker [1966] - Bacchanale [1962?]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0048
Run Time
0h 11m 44s
Date Produced
Ruth Page's version of "Romeo and Juliet" is set to Tchaikovsky's original score for it, with designs by André Delfau.  It was premiered in Niles, Michigan in January of 1969.

Ruth Page's version of the popular ballet "The Nutcracker" was premiered at McCormick Place's Arie Crown Theater in Chicago, on December 26, 1965. After this, it was presented there every holiday season through 1997. The ballet uses Tchaikovsky's original score for the story by E.T.A. Hoffman; it was produced by Edward G. Lee, with costumes and scenery by Rolf Gérard.

"Bacchanale" is a ballet choreopgraphed by Harald Kreutzberg and Ruth Page, first performed by them on February 4, 1934 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, IL.  It uses music by Italian composer Gian Francesco Malipiero.

This film represents excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, filmed in 1969, and double-exposed excerpts from a 1966 Nutcracker performance and a Bacchanale performance, thought to be from 1962.  All are performed in full costume.  At the every end of the film, there is an extremely brief "behind the scenes" segment, where dancers are filmed in their dressing rooms backstage.
The film opens with a shot of Romeo and Juliet on a stage, apparently from an onstage perspective.  The two rehearse a pas de deux together, and as she exits the stage, the film cuts to what appears to be the actual performance of the ballet, in low lighting, filmed from the wings this time.  The stage soon becomes brighter as the Capulet ball begins and Romeo, masked, interrupts Juliet and Tybalt.  Romeo then dances with Juliet, after which Tybalt reveals his identity by unmasking him; a fight then breaks out.  Before it reaches its climax, the film cuts forward to a (darkened) pas de deux between the Romeo and Juliet, though it soon cuts back to the fight, now between Tybalt and Mercutio.  Tybalt stabs Mercutio to death; Romeo then engages Tybalt to avenge his friend.  At this point, the film cuts to a solo by Juliet, followed by a reuniting of the two lovers who then dance a giddy pas de deux.  After several more cuts to different segments of the two dancing together and then Juliet dancing alone, the film reaches the point where Romeo appears to be mourning over a (assumed) dead Juliet.  However, she appears to revive and dance with him directly after (the film is very dark at this point), only to watch him collapse on her and then stab herself with his knife to join him in death.

It is at this point that the film cuts to an accidental double-exposure of The Nutcracker and Bacchanale.  The Nutcracker portion seems to feature the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier; the Bacchanale portion features a full stage with both couples and an ensemble.  Nutcracker soon cuts to the Marzipan/wooden flute variation and then the Spanish Chocolate male soloist; Bacchanale cuts to a male soloist surrounded by onlookers.  Afterwards, Nutcracker cuts to the Arabian and Chinese variations; Bacchanale cuts to an exoticized female soloist.  As the Bacchanale soloist is joined by men who lift and spin her above their heads, the Trepak dance begins in the Nutcracker.  Then Bacchanale switches to a pas de deux, followed by a large ensemble dance while The Nuctracker returns to the Marzipan variation.  FInally, there is a glimpse of Mother Ginger before both ballets end and the sole footage appears to be a glance backstage at the dancers getting ready to perform.  The film ends there.
Additional Credit
Kreutzberg, Harald (is choreographer)
Page, Ruth (is choreographer)
Related Place
Kewanee (production location of)