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Carmen de Lavallade

Carmen De Lavallade was born to Black Creole parents and raised by her aunt who owned an African American bookshop. De Lavallade began studying ballet with Melissa Blake at the age of 16. After graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School in L.A., she was awarded a scholarship to study dance with Lester Horton where she performed as a lead dancer until her departure for New York City where she joined Alvin Ailey in 1954.

Video and Audio

Meet the Masters: Carmen de Lavallade

In this in-depth interview, legendary dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade talks about her family background, work with Alvin Ailey, and other facets of her illustrious career.