Carmen & Geoffrey

Yesterday, in my dance fever post, I included this photo of Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder.

I posted it, even though they were not dancing, because I knew that they are both dancers.

Their impact on that world is massive and eternal. More so than I even knew at the time. Truthfully, before I read about Carmen & Geoffrey the documentary on Shadow & Act, I had never heard of her and only thought of him as my beloved Punjab from Annie.

Well, cut to last night. With that dance post heavy on my mind. I needed something to watch while I (finally, after much procrastinating) ironed the kids clothes for the next day. I clicked over to Netflix and put on C&G because that gorgeous picture of them was still on my mind.

WHAT A FASCINATING STORY!!

I was riveted to the TV! I stayed up, waaay too late, because I simply could not wait until the next day to see the film in its entirety. There should be classes taught about these two. Seriously. The amount of work they’ve done, barriers they’ve broken and longevity they’ve maintained is truly astonishing. There are, to me anyway, parallels in their lives and those of another powerhouse couple: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. While Carmen and Geoffrey continue to enjoy a long and happy marriage, and Frida and Diego did not, their creativity, talent, drive and equal levels of success in their respective fields is quite similar.

Very few artists are appreciated and celebrated in their own lifetime like these four were. Carmen and Geoffrey have stacks and stacks of awards and accolades. They branched beyond dance and performed in film and theater productions. Geoffrey is an amazing gifted painter and director. Shows that he choreographed in the 60s and 70s are still performed. Carmen has taught throughout her life and at over eighty years old, she still dances and performs. Often.  Learning about these two should be required for all artists for their lives are a lesson in staying relevant and happy. Their loyalty and support of one another is rare, too. Geoffrey was still calling her his goddess and muse at nearly 50 years together. Carmen still a frequent subject of his paintings. She still performs work he choreographed, wearing a dress he created just for her.

If you have a Netflix subscription, consider watching this beautiful film about these two extraordinarily interesting people and the highlights of a life lived completely on their own terms.

About these ads

12 thoughts on “Carmen & Geoffrey

  1. I’m old enough to remember Geoffrey Holder dancing in his prime…I was a little girl at the time. But all black artists were celebrated in my household and we were encouraged to know about them. This is an amazing couple and I will check out the Netflix movie this weekend! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. It’s funny…when I read your post yesterday, I totally thought they were dancing in that photo. That’s one cool thing about dancers…whatever they do, it somehow *looks* like dancing. Anyway, I know nothing about this clearly fascinating couple, so a thank you for the documentary recommendation…definitely checking it out asap.

  3. Gah, I love, love love dance documentaries. Thanks for the alert! I didn’t know she was a dancer; I remember her from a part in Lone Star (one of my favorite 90s indie movies) and even though it was brief I thought she was the most elegant and composed figure in it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s