Emory University Acquires the Archives of Noted African American Dance Couple

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta, has acquired the papers of dancers and married couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder.

Among the materials are correspondence, photographs, scripts, manuscripts, books and periodicals; videos of dance rehearsals; and sketchbooks, including portfolios of set designs and Holder’s costume drawings for “The Wiz,” for which he won Tony Awards in 1975 for costume design and direction.

The correspondence includes letters between Holder and his brother in Trinidad, Boscoe, who was also an internationally known artist, dancer and choreographer; and between de Lavallade and her cousin, Janet Collins, whom she succeeded as principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Collins was the first African American ballerina to become principal dancer at the Met.

Carmen de Lavallade was born in 1931 in Los Angeles to Black Creole parents from New Orleans. She moved to New York in 1954 to appear in Truman Capote’s Broadway musical “House of Flowers.” It was there that she met Holder who was also in the cast. They married in 1955. Later de Lavallade taught at Yale University and became a member of the Yale Repertory Company and the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.

Geoffrey Holder danced on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera and was a choreographer for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the Dance Theater of Harlem. He also appeared in several Hollywood films.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs