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JIM: Sidda, dancing, evokes memories of Ruth Page
Internationally famed dancer was born in Indianapolis, the daughter of Columbia native Dr. Lafayette (L.F.) Page and his wife Marian, a pianist, whose visit here and later accomplishments were carried in the pages of the Adair County News
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"A great future awaiting:" Ruth Page, granddaughter of Adair County
"Dance isn't something that can be explained in words; it has to be danced." - Paige Arden
The recent photo of Miss Sidda brought to mind Ruth Page, a granddaughter of old Adair who achieved considerable fame in the world of dance.
She was born in Indianapolis near the end of the 19th century to Columbia native Lafayette (L.F.) Page, a physician, and his wife Marian, a pianist. Young Ruth visited Columbia, her father's ancestral home being the Page House on the Campbellsville Pike, where she spent weeks at a time during summers of her childhood years. In the dog days of August, 1911, the News reported that the previous week, at the home of W.R. Myers (also on the Campbellsville Pike, a bit nearer the Square than the Page residence), "Misses Myers and Adkins entertained with a 'Porch Party'...In the far corner of the porch delightful punch was served the guests by little Misses Ruth Page and Julie Blakeman."
Fast forward almost a decade to the closing days of 1920. By that time, Ruth was twenty-one (almost twenty-two) and had accomplished a great deal since being relegated with her cousin to the far corner of the Myers' porch. A few days before Christmas, an article headlined "A Distinguished Young Lady" graced the front page of the News. It mentioned Miss Page recently had spent several days visiting relatives in Columbia, and went on to say of her:
"She is only about twenty years of age, perfect in form, possessing all the graces that come to a refined young lady, and perhaps has received more compliments from the press than any other artist of her age in this or any foreign countries. She dances as much for what she gets out of it in physical culture, as she does to please her admirers. Her mother, a charming woman, is with her in all her engagements."These were not empty words of flattery for an attractive young "artistic dancer" (as the newspaper called her) who had Adair County roots. Already, reported the News, she had "charmed audiences in New York, Chicago, Toledo, cities in South America, London, England, and other cities across the waters," and went on list clips from several glowing reviews in New York and London newspapers:
"She was recently abroad and while in London she was the attraction at the Coliseum. In speaking of her the Daily London Mirror says: 'The butterfly dance performed by pretty youthful Ruth Page is the finest thing of its kind we have seen, and this young lady should have a great future awaiting her.' The London Mail says, 'Nineteen year old Ruth Page, the wonderful dancer, is a most supple and alluring person.' The New York Evening Sun says, 'Ruth Page, the pretty youngster who was the memorable Infanta [in 1919], was delicious in Bal Masque pantomime and proved her spiritual right to the batik and wings of a butterfly.'"
This story was posted on 2013-09-08 05:21:20
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