(b Indianapolis, 22 Mar. 1899; d Chicago, 7 Apr. 1991)
US dancer, choreographer and company director. She studied ballet with Bolm (from 1917) and Cecchetti (in 1920), and modern dance with Harald Kreutzberg during the 1930s, making her debut in New York in 1917. Hers was a peripatetic career. She toured South America with Pavlova (1918–19), danced in Bolm's Birthday of the Infanta in Chicago in 1919, and was a principal dancer with Bolm's Ballet Intime (1920–2) on its US tour, becoming a key figure in Bolm's Allied Arts Ballet in Chicago (1924–7) and creating roles in many of his ballets. She additionally danced with Irving Berlin's Music Box Revue in New York and on tour (1922–4), briefly with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1925), and with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York (1927). She created the role of Terpsichore in Bolm's original production of Stravinsky's Apollon musagète (Washington, 1928). During the 1930s she continued to be an indefatigable traveller, touring America with solo recitals as well as touring with Kreutzberg (1933–4) but was most closely associated with the city of Chicago. She was prima ballerina and ballet mistress at Chicago Summer Opera (1929–33) and choreographed La Guillablesse (mus. William Grant Still, 1933), which featured Page as the only white dancer in a company of 50 black dancers led by Katherine Dunham. She was then prima ballerina and ballet mistress of the Chicago Civic Opera (1934–6, 1941–2), creating Hear Ye! Hear Ye! (mus. Copland, Chicago Opera Ballet, 1934); An American Pattern (with Bentley Stone, mus. Moross, 1937), an early feminist ballet; and Frankie and Johnny (with Stone, mus. Jerome Moross, 1938), based on the famous tavern ballad. In 1938 she formed the Page-Stone Ballet Company with her partner Bentley Stone, which toured extensively. She also choreographed Revanche (mus. Verdi) for Ballets des Champs-Elysées (1951) and Vilia (Lehár's The Merry Widow, 1953) for London Festival Ballet. In 1954 she became choreographer and director of ballet at Chicago Lyric Opera where the ballet company became known as Ruth Page's Chicago Opera Ballet and from 1966 to 1969 as Ruth Page's International Ballet). For this company she was best known for her danced versions of operas, including Susanna and the Barber (Rossini's Barber of Seville, Chicago Opera Ballet, 1956), Camille (Verdi's La traviata, 1957), Die Fledermaus (mus. J. Strauss, 1958), Carmen (staged in 1939 as Guns and Castanets; staged again in 1959 as Carmen, and in 1972 as Carmen and José for Dance Theatre of Harlem), and Bullets and Bonbons (O. Straus's The Chocolate Soldier, 1965). Other important works include The Bells (mus. Milhaud, Chicago, 1946), Mephistophela (mus. Berlioz, Boito, and Gounod, 1963), Carmina Burana (mus. Orff, 1966), and Alice in the Garden (mus. I. van Grove, Jacob's Pillow, 1970), which was re-staged as the full-length Alice in Wonderland: Alice through the Looking Glass in the 1977–8 season of the Chicago Ballet. She was founding artistic director of the short-lived Chicago Ballet (1972–8).