The documentary by Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob (2005)
traces the individual careers and love story of Carmen de
Lavallade and husband, Geoffrey Holder, two extraordinary
artists and national treasures, who have played a vital role
in shaping the legacy of modern dance in America. The film
features interviews and performance footage of friends and
colleagues, including Judith Jamison, Gus Solomons, Jr.,
Dudley Williams, Ulysses Dove, and Alvin Ailey.
Carmen de Lavallade:
first appeared in New York City with the Lester Horton Dance
Theater and subsequently on Broadway with Alvin Ailey in
House of Flowers, where she met Geoffrey Holder. She
appeared in the films Carmen Jones, Odds Against
Tomorrow, Big Daddy, and Lone Star.
Horton, Ailey, and others—Glen Tetley, Agnes de Mille, and
her husband, Mr. Holder—created ballets especially for her.
She was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera, and
a guest artist of American
Ballet Theatre and New York City Center Opera. At Yale, Ms.
de Lavallade taught movement for actors and became a member
of the Yale Repertory Company and the American Repertory
Theater at Harvard. She has choreographed for Dance Theatre
of Harlem, Philadanco, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater,
and the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. de Lavallade received a
Dance Magazine Award, an honorary doctorate from The
Juilliard School, a Duke Ellington Fellowship Award, and a
Dance/USA Award. She is a founding member of Paradigm, a
repertory concert company. She is currently on Broadway in
A Streetcar Named Desire.
was born in Trinidad and educated at Queens
Royal College. He toured the West Indies and Puerto Rico as
a dancer with his brother’s troupe, the Holder Dance
Company, before making his New York stage debut in the 1954
Broadway musical House of Flowers, where he met
Carmen de Lavallade. From 1955 through 1956, Mr. Holder was
a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. In
1957 he played the role of Lucky in a revival of
Waiting for Godot. His subsequent stage work has earned
him numerous awards, including two Tonys—one for direction,
the other for costume design—for 1974's The Wiz. His
film roles included Baron Samedi in the 1973 Bond thriller
Live and Let Die (1973) and Punjab in Annie
(1981). As a choreographer he has created dance pieces
for many companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theater. Outside of his theatrical and film accomplishments,
Mr. Holder is the author of several books and is an
accomplished painter, his works having been
showcased in major international exhibitions.
He is a true renaissance man with no equal.
Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC)
is the realization of a long-held vision by artistic
director Mikhail Baryshnikov,
who sought to build an arts center in Manhattan that would
serve as a gathering place for artists from all disciplines.
BAC’s opening in 2005 heralded the launch of this mission,
establishing a thriving creative laboratory and performance
space for artists from around the world. BAC’s activities
encompass a robust residency program augmented by a range of
professional services, including commissions of new work, as
well as the presentation of performances by artists at
varying stages of their careers. In tandem with its
commitment to supporting artists,
BAC is dedicated to building audiences for the arts by
presenting contemporary, innovative work at affordable
more information, please visit