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Carmen and Geoffrey

4.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, two living legends in the world of American dance, are the subjects of this intimate and revealing documentary.

Carmen was the first to achieve notoriety in the early 1950s, as a lead dancer of incomparable beauty and grace with the Lester Horton Dance Theater and Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater. Geoffrey, large in life and an elemental force on stage who would find fame not only as a dancer but also as an actor ("Live and Let Die"), soda spokesman ("the Un-Colaaaaa...") and theater director ("The Wiz"), met Carmen during a production of Truman Capote's "House of Flowers" in 1954, and proposed to her on sight. They married a year later and have been together ever since.

Filmed over a period of three years in New York, Texas, Trinidad and Paris, Carmen & Geoffrey features candid interviews and riveting archival dance footage. Performances of their work with Alvin Ailey, Herbert Ross, Lester Horton, Joe Layton, Duke Ellington and Josephine Baker, as well as their choreography work and Holder's stunning achievements in painting and costume design demonstrate the virtually uninterrupted creativity of these icons of dance.

Review

What you see is more than an outstanding, five-decade creative collaboration; it's one of the dance world's great love stories, too. --Dance Magazine

Leaves you wondering why its subjects are not widely recognized as national treasures. --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Endearing, with glorious, amazing archival footage! --This Week in New York

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Carmen de Lavallade, Geoffrey Holder
  • Directors: Linda Atkinson, Nick Doob
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0025Z4Q4O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,991 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carmen and Geoffrey" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Wonderfully funny, warm, ultimately moving and inspiring story of the 50 year marriage
of dancers and choreographers Geoffrey Holder and Carmen De Lavallade.

It covers their personal lives and how that intertwined with their considerable impact on American
and world dance. Geoffrey has seemingly endless talents --painter, author, costume designer,
director, and Carmen has seemingly endless youth. At 71 she still is a magnificent, flowing dancer.

A celebration of love, and creativity walking hand in hand.

My only very minor quibble is I wish some of the dancing clips were longer. At just
82 minutes the film could have easily allowed us to enjoy their sublime work a few minutes more.
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I didn't get a chance to see this docu when it played for a week in one of Denver's art house theatres, and I couldn't find it in any of my local video stores for rental. I decided to "bite the bullet" as it were and order it. I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed. I've been familiar with their contributions to the arts (Geoffrey is truly a renaissance man!) as I grew up, but this film also made me aware of some things that I hadn't known about each. I recommend it to fans of Carmen de Lavalade and Geoffrey Holder!!
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These two talented artistes make history on their own as well as in tandem. Each is so gifted yet they succeed as a married couple. as parents of a talented son, and as multi-talents in many fields. They constitute living history, especially for so many young people who think that "Rap" and FOX network dramas are what Afro-Americans are all about. This should be required viewing for high school and college classes in the arts...drama, dramatics, fashion, dance,staging. set design and construction, costuming,writing....you name it, Carmen and Geoffrey have done and are still doing it !! In addition, they are iving proof that aging is not synonymous with retiring to the easy chair and giving up the pursuit of artistic endeavors. Where else and how else can you revel in memories of the past while indulging in current pursuits by this astonishing couple ? If I wear out my DVD, I'll just have to order another one !
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I didn't know much about Geoffrey Holder's life as a dancer (or painter), I just knew him as an actor and great voice. When he passed away and I read his obituary I became interested in learning more about him. He and his wife Carmen de Lavallade were wonderful dancers and their life together was a great partnership. Although I wish this documentary mentioned the dates of old videos more often, I still found it excellent!
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An opportunity to spend 80 minutes with 2 amazing dancers (now in their 70's) who are still active and creative. It is a documentary about their love for each other and strong marriage just as much as it is about their professional successes. Geoffrey Holder, in particular, is also the most incredible costume designer, and seeing his sketches and Broadway costumes is a treat.
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To watch this documentary is to experience sheer pleasure. Carmen Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder are beautiful, talented and as I knew they would be, really good people...generous of spirit and truly kind. I love this documentary so much that I know it will be watched many times. I want everyone I know to see it and enjoy it.
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This is a wonderful film about Holder, his wife Carmen and a great deal about Alvin Alley's dance troupe as well. I totally recommend this film for all who really love modern dance. What a loss to lose Mr. Holder, such a good long life though!
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