Rasch, Albertina - 1937 Signed Album Page w/ Modern Print Photo - RARE
5 7/8 x 4 3/8 album page culled from a 1937 autograph album. Signed, in dark purple fountain pen,
" Albertina Rasch, To Virginia ".
Slight toning to page. Staining upper right hand corner, just impinging on the "h" of "Rasch".
Unbelievably rare in any form. In my 40 plus years of collecting this is the 1st signature of Miss Rasch I have ever handled. See bio below for more info on who Albertina was.
Comes with a quality modern 8 1/2 x 11 print of a vintage photo. Not only is her signature rare, photographic images are also tough to find.
***BIO: Albertina Rasch (January 19, 1891 – October 2, 1967) was a naturalized American dancer, company director, and choreographer.
During 1916 and 1917, Austrian born Rasch, toured with Sarah Bernhardt before returning to New York as a concert performer with a supporting ballet troupe. That troupe marked the beginning of the Albertina Rasch Dancers, “a troupe of highly disciplined and balletically trained girls who performed in many revues, musicals, and recitals during the 1920s and 1930s.” The dancers often “wore skimpy costumes and performed in chorus-girl formations.
In 1923, Rasch opened her first dance studio in Manhattan (where Bill Robinson taught tap). She would later open a second studio in Los Angeles.
In 1925, the Albertina Rasch Dancers performed her Rhapsody in Blue (1925), one of her “first experiments combining ballet moves with American Jazz dance.
She starred in a number of Ziegfeld productions, appeared at the Moulin Rouge and performed with Josephine Baker before adapting her classical training and techniques for the Broadway theatre and films.
Rasch also helped establish Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" as a popular standard by choreographing it to an ethnic dance in Jubilee (1935). Additional Broadway credits include The Three Musketeers, Rio Rita (1927), Show Girl (1929), The Bohemian Girl, The Great Waltz (1934), Lady in the Dark (1941), and Marinka (1945).
In Hollywood. She “supervised and directed almost all of the camera work on her dances” and “was the only established female dance director in Hollywood."
Some of her credits include: Rogue Song (1930), The Merry Widow (1934) with Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier, Broadway Melody of 1936 (1936) with Jack Benny and Eleanor Powell, Firefly (1937), Rosalie (1937) with Powell and Nelson Eddy, Sweet-hearts (1938), The Great Waltz (1938), The Girl of the Golden West (1938) with MacDonald and Eddy, Marie Antoinette (1938) with Norma Shearer, and Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) with Fred Astaire.
Footage of Rasch filmed for the unfinished Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical The March of Time (1930) was used in the MGM film Broadway to Hollywood (1933) with Frank Morgan and Alice Brady. MGM also reused her "Chinese Ballet" from Lord Byron of Broadway (1930) in the short film Roast Beef and Movies (1934).