Dancer, actor, choreographer, and 2017 Kennedy Center Honors recipient Carmen de Lavallade will grace The Appel Room in a special performance titled, Life of a Legend on January 24–25 at 7pm each night. Her groundbreaking performances have inspired artists and audiences for generations and on these this two evenings, Jazz at Lincoln Center will celebrate de Lavallade’s love of both dance and jazz, revisiting the iconic dance works she performed with the most legendary musicians in jazz history.
A group of extremely talented special guests from the worlds of dance and music will join de Lavallade — music director and soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, dancer Maggie Small of the Richmond Ballet, pianist Dominic Fallacaro, bassist Dean Johnson, and drummer Billy Drummond.
Though de Lavallade has long been a star on Broadway, Hollywood, theater, and many genres of dance—including ballets choreographed for her by the likes of Lester Horton, Agnes de Mille, and Geoffrey Holder—her roots in jazz run especially deep. She brought Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to tears in 1960 with her embodiment of Billie Holiday in “Portrait of Billie”—a piece that de Lavallade performed with a friend whom she brought to the dance world: Alvin Ailey. De Lavallade’s artistry goes so much deeper than technical mastery; she approaches dance as an act of storytelling, a transfixing form of communication that she still achieves with grace at age 87.
Life of a Legend: Carmen de Lavallade will take place in The Appel Room in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, located on Broadway at 60th Street in New York City. The performance on Thursday, January 24 at 7pm, will be webcast live at jazz.org/live and on Facebook. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.