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Carmen and Geoffrey (2005)

7.5
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This intimate documentary follows careers of two remarkable personalities: Carmen de Lavallade, a dynamic dancer and choreographer from California who moved to New York with Alvin Ailey and... See full summary »

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Cast

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Carmen De Lavallade ...
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Clifton Brown ...
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Janet Collins ...
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Ulysses Dove ...
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Jennifer Dunning ...
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Ann Duquesnay ...
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Carl Hall ...
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Ira Hawkins ...
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Boscoe Holder
Leo Holder ...
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Judith Jamison ...
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Storyline

This intimate documentary follows careers of two remarkable personalities: Carmen de Lavallade, a dynamic dancer and choreographer from California who moved to New York with Alvin Ailey and began a legacy of modern dance in America, and her husband Geoffrey Holder, a Trinidad-born choreographer, set and costume designer, painter and man about town with productions such as The Wiz. Features interviews and performance footage of friends and colleagues: dancers Judith Jamison, Gus Solomons, Jr., Dudley Williams, Ulysses Dove and Alvin Ailey. Written by Scott P

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4 February 2005 (USA)  »

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$5,656 (USA) (13 March 2009)

Gross:

$11,777 (USA) (20 March 2009)
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dancing up a storm
6 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Carmen De Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder are a husband-and-wife dance team that became an instrumental force in the modern dance movement of the mid to late 20th Century. Carmen made her name both as a choreographer and a dancer, while Geoffrey did the same, adding painter, set designer and costume designer to his list of accomplishments. In fact, he choreographed the original Broadway production of "The Wiz" - and one of the highlights of the documentary "Carmen and Geoffrey" is a clip of Geoffrey receiving the Tony Award as Best Director for that play from none other than the original scarecrow himself, Ray Bolger. Now, well past their physical primes but still overflowing with vision and vigor, Carmen and Geoffrey impart their wisdom and talents to a whole new generation of dancers just arriving on the scene.

Directed by Linda Atkinson and Nick Dood, "Carmen and Geoffrey" is an informative and loving tribute to these icons of modern dance. The movie begins when Carmen and Geoffrey were mere youths themselves, burning with an unquenchable desire to express themselves through dance. It chronicles the early years before they met, he a dyslexic child growing up in Trinidad and she a student of ballet in 1940s Los Angeles. When they did finally discover one another - in the production of Harold Arlen's "House of Flowers" - it was love at first sight. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Luckily for us, Carmen and Geoffrey are still alive and well and as eloquent, open-hearted and gregarious as ever. We get to hear the story of their careers and lives - and of their nearly half-century-long love affair - in their own words. We also learn quite a bit about the history of modern interpretive dance - particularly as it relates to the African American influence - through the chronicling of their experiences. Priceless clips from the past are combined with contemporary dance performances, making for a rich and satisfying experience for lovers of dance - and of the two individuals who did so much to define and refine it.


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