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Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

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Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rock On Geoffrey Holder . . . Celebrating Black History Month

One of the unique pleasures of enjoying and treasuring books is the now and then discovery of a wonderful book you missed when it first came out. In today’s publishing world, books frequently enter with a bang and then disappear without a whimper. Recently I had the pleasure of stumbling upon GEOFFREY HOLDER: A Life in Theater, Dance, and Art, by Jennifer Dunning (Harry N. Abrams 2001). What better way to commemorate Black History Month that with this glorious book about the amazing creative life of Geoffrey Holder, a man who has imbibed life with lusty enthusiasm—fully, richly focused on cultural pursuits in a way that is quite unusual today. As he says about his growing up years in Trinidad, “If you played under this tree as I did as a child, you too would believe in fairytales.”

Holder is a larger-than-life figure in every way. His whole philosophy is that “you should do everything” regardless of age. Born in 1930 on the cusp of one of America’s most creative moments yet one of its most economically deprived times, Geoffrey grew up “dancing, singing, painting, and designing clothes . . . danced his way out of Trinidad and on to New York City.” A tall black man with a magnificent body and ready, joyful smile, Holder’s style in everything he does is bold and colorful, from his dancing to his design and choreography for such productions as The Wiz, to his dynamic, masterful portraits and imaginative art works. This book inspires us all to grab life, hold on tight, but let your feet fly out behind you as the ride begins!

CARMEN & GEOFFREY, a documentary directed by Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob about Geoffrey and his fabulous wife of more than fifty years opens March 13th at New York’s Quad Cinema, DVD release summer 2009. Now available for educational purchase at http://firstrunfeatures.com/ .


To see the man considered to be the new James Earl Jones perform, check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w45Hpocfw_I&feature=related

Rosemary Carstens

5 comments:

Andrea Meyer said...

The vibrancy of Geoffrey Holder's art and life shines through in your description -- what a fascinating man who inspires us to grab hold of life and "do everything" regardless of age or circumstance!

sibylle said...

I thoroughly second, along with Andrea, Holder's philosophy that “you should do everything regardless of age." Though well into middle age, I'm going camping and rock climbing in Australia for seven weeks!

Jerrie said...

Just listened to a discussion of why we don't need Black History Month any more. Glad you're still noting it!! You and Geoffrey Holder Rock on.

Anonymous said...

The book sounds fascinating but I really want to view the documentary to see the man dance. Bonnie Gangelhoff, senior editor, Southwest Art.

ClaireWalter said...

Holder is a real renaissance man -- as an actor, dancer and artist. But to me, he will always be "the voice." Decades ago, he did the voiceover for a series of commercials (I think for BWIA), in which he said, "I have an IS-land for you." I could have followed that voice to any island!