Happy Belated Birthday to the elegant dancer, choreographer, professor and stage and film actress, Carmen De Lavallade who turned 82 on March 6.
She appeared in films Carmen Jones and Harry Belafonte’s Odds Against Tomorrow but primarily is known for her dancing prowess. De Lavallade became a member of the Lester Horton Dance Theater in 1949 where she danced as a lead dancer until her departure for New York City with Alvin Ailey in 1954. She made her Broadway debut partnered with Alvin Ailey in Truman Capote’s House of Flowers.
Married to dancer and actor Geoffrey Holder, since 1955, it was Holder that choreographed De Lavallade’s signature solo Come Sunday, to a black spiritual sung by Odetta Gordon. The following year, De Lavallade danced as the prima ballerina in Samson and Delilah, and Aida at the Metropolitan Opera.
Last year, De Lavallade was part of the cast of the Broadway revival of Streetcar Named Desire. Lovely lady who has had an amazing yet unsung impact on the African-American and popular culture!!!