Monday, May 30, 2016
This episode paints an intimate portrait of Chicago's legendary dancer
and choreographer using the diaries and letters she wrote throughout her
life, and letters written to her by her family and friends. In doing so,
it presents a unique and poignant perspective on this vivacious yet guarded
Page, a native of Indianapolis who came to Chicago in 1919, founded The Ruth Page School of Dance, created a production of The Nutcracker that ran downtown for more than two decades, and brought world-class dance to Chicago's stages as artistic director of The Chicago Opera Ballet, The Lyric Opera Ballet, and The Ravinia Festival. She was the first American dancer to be featured on the stage of the The Metropolitan Opera, the first American dancer to appear before the Emperor of Japan, and the first artistic director to commission work from George Ballanchine and Aaron Copland. She was also the first to present the legendary Rudolph Nureyev on an American stage.
Yet for all of her professional achievements and public appearances, Page was an intensely private woman who avoided sharing her thoughts and feelings. Longings For The Moon reveals much of Page's hidden humor, ambition and poignancy through dramatic readings of both her own writings and those of loved ones, juxtaposed with rare footage of Ruth Page performances and choreography dating back as far as 1922. It is the tale of a young woman who took risks in the early 1900's—and succeeded.
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