Carmen DeLavallade was a remarkable figure of dance and choreography in African-American society. Her talent would become affiliated with names like Alvin Ailey, who, for one season, co-branded his company name with hers in his 1962 European and Asian tour. It was the DeLavallade-Ailey Dance Company Tour.
DeLavallade found her gift through her cousin, Janet Collins, who was the first black prima ballerina at the famous Metropolitan Opera in New York. At age 14, she decided to begin studying ballet. Soon after, DeLavallade would sign with the Lester Horton Dance Company in 1949. Becoming one of the biggest names in ballet, DeLavallade held a sensual quality in her dancing and would be called “one of most ravishing women in the world” by Duke Ellington. Many of her roles in the ballet were created especially for her.
In 1954, DeLavallade met the man who would become her husband – actor and dancer, Geoffrey Holder (“Boomerang,” “Annie,” “Live and Let Die”). Soon after, she joined the ranks of her cousin and starred on stage in “Samson and Delilah” and “Aida” at the Met. But, of course, every profession for blacks during that time period was not without discrimination: When DeLavallade and dancer Glen Tetley planned to perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” they were denied as a dance couple because she was black, and he was white. She would dance with Alvin Ailey colleague Claude Thompson instead.
DeLavallade would share the stage with names like Josephine Baker, Alvin Ailey and Lena Horne. It was Horne who introduced DeLavallade to 20th Century Fox, where she starred in “Carmen Jones,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Lonesome Dove.” And while she taught at Yale Repertory, DeLavallade would teach then-students Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and Henry Winkler the art of drama.
DeLavallade and Holder are currently hosting the “A Memoir in Four Movements” exhibition at the Dusable Museum of African-American History in Chicago.
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂