Geoffrey Holder, We Love You
Geoffrey Holder, Courtesy Ailey
This Saturday, August 1, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival devotes a full day to celebrating the larger-than-life figure of Geoffrey Holder. He captivated audiences as a dancer, choreographer, character actor, director, and visual artist. If you saw him perform (say, as Punjab in the movie Annie), you never forgot his tall, delightfully eccentric but good-natured presence. With his fantastic sense of theatricality, he drew your eye like a magnet. As a choreographer, his highly festooned, Trinidad-accented ballet Dougla (1974) became a signature piece for Dance Theatre of Harlem. As a director, he created The Wiz (for which he won Tonys for both direction and costume design) and Timbuktu!, both overflowing with vibrant and outlandish costumes. If you ever visited his loft in SoHo, or seen Jennifer Dunning's book about him (Geoffrey Holder: A Life in Theater, Dance and Art), you'd know he was an amazingly prolific painter and sculptor.
Holder was full of life up till the end. As Kina Poon wrote in our December 2010 issue, “He still retains a vivacious, slightly mischievous air.” On his deathbed last year, he was still dancing. His son Léo’s description of his dancing hands during his last breaths went viral on Facebook.
Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder in the documentary "Carmen and Geoffrey"
The legendary Carmen de Lavallade, Holder’s widow and muse, will perform a solo, and Garth Fagan Dance will perform a new work in tribute. Also on the schedule are a screening of the beautiful documentary Carmen and Geoffrey and a panel discussion that includes de Lavallade and their son Léo.
And it won’t end there. An exhibition of gorgeous photos will stay up at the Library of Performing Arts until Aug. 29. Holder remains inspiring for his many talents, his humanity, and his dancing, laughing spirit. The richness and glamour of the photos capture Holder's originality and greatness.
Click here for the full calendar of The Celebration of the Life of Geoffrey Holder on Aug. 1. All events are FREE!
Booking a gig on a cruise ship can feel like you're diving into the unknown—dropping everything to live in the middle of the ocean without family, friends or cell service. But cruise jobs can also offer incredible rewards, like traveling the world for free and delving into a new style.
Is ship life the right fit for you? Here are some elements to consider.
We knew that New York downtown dance darling Okwui Okpokwasili was a big deal. Critics and audiences have been raving about her dance-theater works for years, and the new documentary about her, Bronx Gothic, has attracted the attention of the larger arts community.
But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine she'd show up in a Jay Z video, along with flex dancer Storyboard P. Though we're slightly less surprised to see Storyboard in Jay Z's "4:44" video than we were to see Okpokwasili, we're jazzed that two of our favorites are featured on such a huge platform. (We're also feeling #blessed that we didn't have to subscribe to Tidal to watch this.)
Throughout the years, choreographer Seán Curran has worked with a diverse array of talented collaborators—from Kyrgyz music ensemble Ustatshakirt Plus to the the Grammy Award–winning King's Singers. But perhaps none are as meaningful as his most recent group of co-choreographers: At-risk teens from the after school program and nonprofit The Wooden Floor.
Curran has been in residence with The Wooden Floor since June, where he's worked with students to build choreography based on their lives and communities:
Their creation will be shown July 20-22 at The Wooden Floor Studio Theatre in Santa Ana, California.
"Besides the stage, baking is my other happy place," says New York City Ballet corps member Jenelle Manzi.
Four years ago, she thought her baking days were over when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Manzi had been dealing with pain, frequent illness and joint inflammation for nearly 10 years. Once she cut out gluten, Manzi gradually started to feel better, noticing a transformation in how her body felt and functioned. She found her joints were less inflamed, and she got sick less often.
New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan and American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary spend every day making their hard work look effortless and graceful both in the studio and onstage. That's exactly what makes them the perfect spokesmodels for the dance-inspired activewear line, Belle Force.
To celebrate our 90th anniversary, we excavated some of our favorite hidden gems from the DM Archives—images that capture a few of the moments in time we've documented over the decades.
This image was captured during a 1978 New York City Ballet tour that took the company to Copenhagen—home turf for Adam Luders (right), who trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and briefly danced with the company before joining NYCB as a principal dancer in 1975. Next to Luders is (of course) George Balanchine, in conversation with ballerina Suzanne Farrell. And looking on with a smile? NYCB's current ballet master in chief Peter Martins.
On March 8, 2016, Rami Shafi found himself inspired to film an impromptu dance video of his best friend, Aaron Moses Robin, improvising on Gay St. in New York City's Greenwich Village. Thus was born Pedestrian Wanderlust, a collection of dance videos that has grown to include a monthly improv jam.
Shafi works with anyone who wants to take part in the project, filming videos in locations chosen by the dancers and later adding music. The videos are shot on Shafi's iPhone in one take and, other than the starting and ending points, are entirely improvised. The editing afterwards—including the music choice—is minimal. "I don't like to edit too much. It's just what it is," says Shafi. "I usually can do the editing on the train ride home."