Ailey, Alvin. (1931–1989) & de Lavallade, Carmen. (b. 1931) [Lindquist, John. (1910–1985)]

"To Jose Clemente Orozco'' - Signed Photograph from Jacob's Pillow

Signed original John Lindquist photograph of the great American dancers in costume for a performance in Lester Horton's Dedication to Jose Clemente Orozco, performed at Jacob's Pillow in 1961. Lavallade has inscribed "To Paul / all my best / Carmen de Lavallade," and Ailey "For Paul / with my very best wishes– / Alvin Ailey."  Typewritten caption to verso reads "Modern Negro Jazz: Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade," together with photographer's stamp and stamp dated July 22, 1963.  In fine condition.  10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm.).

The modern-dance pioneer Lester Horton evolved a dance technique of compressed emotion through an extreme distillation of movement, working in Los Angeles until his death in 1953. He was Alvin Ailey's mentor and his 1953 duet, ''To Jose Clemente Orozco,'' is a choreographic miniature that strikes directly to the heart of Ailey's own esthetic roots. ''Orozco'' is typical also of an entire era in modern dance in that it is an unabashed piece of social protest. Jose Clemente Orozco, a leading Mexican painter who died in 1949, created many murals on commission from Mexico's revolutionary Government. Here, with wonderful economy and to a stark descriptive martial piano score by Kenneth Klaus, Horton brings one of these revolutionary themes to life. 

The American actress, educator, choreographer, and dancer Carmen de Lavallade studied with Lester Horton, becoming lead dancer of Lester Horton Dance Theater (Los Angeles, California) during her tenure. She left for New York in 1954 with Alvin Ailey, whom she had met and encouraged to begin dancing in high school in Los Angeles. That same year, she made her Broadway debut partnered with Ailey in Truman Capote’s musical, House of Flowers.  In 1962, de Lavallade and Ailey embarked on a tour of Southeast Asia as the de Lavallade-Ailey dance company.

From the collection of Paul McMahon, a critic, photographer and artist who worked for more than 13 years touring with Marlene Dietrich as the icon’s stage manager, announcer, dresser, secretary and escort, and later spent 25 years as an arts and entertainment reviewer and photographer with Gay Community News, Esplanade, Tommy’s Connection, The Mirror, Bay Windows and other publications. (20394)

Signed Photograph