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Carmen de Lavallade

(b. 1931)


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(b Los Angeles, 6 Mar. 1931)

US dancer. She studied with Melissa Blake and C. Maracci and became a leading dancer with Horton's company in 1950. She was a celebrated beauty and also appeared in films, such as Carmen Jones (1954), and on Broadway. In 1956 she began working with J. Butler, creating roles in several of his ballets, including Carmina Burana (1959) and Portrait of Billy (1960). She also danced with the companies of Ailey, Tetley, and McKayle, New York City Opera, and American Ballet Theatre. Her husband, Geoffrey Holder, choreographed several works for her including her trademark solos Three Songs for One (1963) and Come Sunday (1968). In 1970 she was appointed to the Yale Drama faculty to teach movement to actors, and also worked as an actress but she continued to dance and to choreograph her own work, including productions at the Metropolitan Opera and also Bitter Sweet Love for the Ailey company in 2000. In 1999 she celebrated 50 years of her career in a performance with her stage partners, Gus Solomons jun. and Dudley Williams. She has continued to teach and lecture widely including at Adelphi University.

Subjects: Dance.


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