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Fans of actor, choreographer, dancer, painter, singer, and Tony Award-winning stage director and costume designer Geoffrey Holder will have a chance to learn more about this multifaceted talent in the upcoming retrospective, The Genius of Geoffrey Holder.

The exhibition at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will include video of his ballets, his Holder Gpaintings, recordings of his early steel band ensemble, Geoffrey Holder and His Trinidad Hummingbirds, as well as props from some of his movies, including his work as the bodyguard Punjab in “Annie”.  Also on view will be his famous interpretation of Dorothy’s dress from The Wiz; not only did Holder direct the musical, he also designed costumes for the production, and became the first Black man to win a Tony award in both those categories.

In addition, on August 1, Lincoln Center’s “Out of Doors Festival” will dedicate an afternoon to Holder, and will include a screening of the 2009 documentary “Carmen & Geoffrey”which documented his nearly 60-year marriage to Carmen de Lavallade (an accomplished dancer in her own right), that he described as his muse.

Holder contributed to the repertory of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Dance Theatre of Harlem; Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, said, “They don’t make artists like him anymore. He never stopped creating, not for a moment.  He used to tell us at his rehearsals, ‘You are like gods and goddesses,’ and we believed him. You felt terribly regal and worthy and proud to be a dancer.”

Kenny Leon, director of NBC’s upcoming airing of The Wiz, remarked that Holder  “Designed, directed, choreographed and acted all at the highest level. His inspiration on The Wiz in the ’70s makes it possible for what we are to do with the revival in 2015.  I have the highest respect and gratitude to the man.”

Exhibit Open Now. Ends August 29th, 2015.

  • David Fullam

    He was a God amongst insects.

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