#tbt: Meet the Woman Choreographer Who Was Breaking Boundaries in the '20s and Beyond

November 1, 2017

In the November 1947 issue of Dance Magazine, we talked to Ruth Page about her impossible-to-categorize career. She danced for numerous ballet companies, such as Serge Diagheliv’s Ballets Russes (where she worked with a young George Balanchine), was invited to dance in Tokyo in honor of Emperor Hirohito’s enthronement and appeared many times on Broadway.

Portrait of Ruth Page by André Delfau, her principal designer and second husband. Photo courtesy DM Archives.

A prolific choreographer renowned for her versatility, she told us, “I cannot ‘feel’ a role until I have worked it out on myself.”

Page in her ballet Love Song, 1935. Photo by Maurice Seymour, Courtesy DM Archives.

In addition to making ballets that were frequently centered upon Americana subjects, Page was one of the Great White Way’s go-to dancemakers, and could count Aaron Copland, Isamu Noguchi, Katherine Dunham and Rudolf Nureyev amongst her collaborators and colleagues. A driving force for concert dance in Chicago, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts continues her legacy today.

Page in 1974. Photo by Michael Ditlove, Courtesy DM Archives.