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Adolph Bolm and
Ruth Syndon-Jenkins

Ruth started dancing on her own at her Iowa girlhood home, far from ballet instructors, by reading books and practicing the ballet positions as best she could by herself. This was not what most girls on Iowa farms were doing at that time.

Ruth's mother was very supportive, and began looking for an instructor for Ruth. Finding few experienced ballerinas in Iowa, Ruth's mother finally brought Ruth to San Francisco, and the San Francisco Opera Ballet when it was founded. There she met Mr. Bolm and began a long career in dance for Ruth.


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Spellings of Adolph Bolm's name found in his papers:

Adolph Bolm
Adolphe Bolm
Adolf Bolm
Adolph Rudolphovich Bolm
Adolph Rudolph Bolm
Adolph Emil Bolm

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Chronology of Ruth Syndon's career, written inside front cover of photo album:
San Francisco Opera Ballet
Adolph Bolm 1934
Hollywood 1938-40
USO Tour 1940-41
North Hollywood 1950-59

Ruth also took master classes with Massine, Dimolova, and others. She studied yoga for over 70 years. Lecture demonstrations that Mr. Bolm presented in Edith Jane's studio from time to time, where he talked about different forms of dance. He brought in representatives of these different forms, to demonstrate their theories. Going to the source, Mr. Bolm had five brothers, and they all became ... the father had this idea (I think it was the father) that each one of them that was trained in some artistic pursuit shoudl also learn some kind of way of making a living in case it didn't work out. So the five brothers had various secondary vocations. One of the brothers, I think he was in Berlin, was married, but there was this person or pursuit that he became interested in, or enamored with, like a mistress. I think he was a conductor or something like that. Either the one that he was interested, or some complication, when he died he left a sum of money for this person to go to India to study, and that person turned out to be Indra Devi. So she went to India and finished her seven years, and her teacher told her to go to Los Angeles. She went to the Japanese Gardens, there was a woman on bought or leased the place who gave her a place to teach classes. Mr. Bolm told us to go to those classes.

Indra Devi had a mother who was a wonderful Russian singer, possibly Nina Cochettes, who was very famous. She came to Hollywood and was in films that Gregory Ratoff made. Gregory Ratoff was an interesting character that I don't know enough about yet. At any rate, here is Indra Devi, who was supported by this German woman who either leased or bought the Imperial Japanese Gardens, and Indra Devi got married to this extraordinary doctor, Rudolph __, who was a devotee of ___ in Vienna who had an extraordinary theory about healing. The doctor she married was the one who Rudolph Knowr, who gave Delores Del Rio the egg embryo shots, that he also gave to my son Bill, because of Mr. Bolm's suggestion that I be in touch with Dr. Knowr.

She danced in Brigadoon, and An American in Paris. She is shown here with Loretta Young in The Men In Her Life.

Adolph Bolm asked her to teach classes for him at his studio, and Ruth continued passing along her experiences to the next generation when she opened her own school.

Her last stage performance was at age 75, and her last ballet demonstration was about 11 years later, a few weeks before she died.

She studied yoga for over 50 years, and was still giving yoga lessons on a regular basis for her neighbors the last weeks of her life.


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