The Ballet Theatre, 1940s
While a series of companies appeared in conjunction with Chicago
in the first half of the twentieth century, the Ruth Page Chicago Opera Ballet (commonly referred to as the Chicago Opera
) was founded in 1955 out of an alliance between Ruth Page and the Chicago Lyric Opera. A significant figure on Chicago's ballet scene since the 1930s, Page established this company to tour independently when not performing with the
during its regular seasons. In particular, the company became renowned for its repertory of “opera-into-ballets,” a genre that Page herself innovated by translating the plots and musical scores from well-known operas into balletic terms. Featuring a number of famous artists as principal dancers, including Kenneth Johnson, Alicia Markova, Marjorie Tallchief, and Maria Tallchief, the company continued until 1969, although it was known after 1966 as Ruth Page's International Ballet. At the end of the twentieth century, no permanent affiliation existed between Chicago opera and a local ballet company.
Ann Barzel Dance Collection. The Newberry Library, Chicago, IL.