Former Joffrey Ballet dancer, costume designer, and choreographer Christian Holder, based in London, is a renaissance man of the arts in a way reminiscent of his very famous uncle Geoffrey Holder. It was my pleasure to see the indelible Holder dance with the Joffrey Ballet. And he has many further accolades beyond dancer: as a choreographer, actor, teacher, costume designer, writer, painter and singer. Currently he is an in-demand cabaret artist.
But prior to all that grown-up glory, Christian was a young boy. These photos indicate that he was ebullient, and bursting at the seams to perform, from the get-go. That he did, launching a career at age seven that led to a life in the theater. In the above photo, he is drumming, most likely in his father’s dance troupe, Boscoe Holder and his Caribbean Dancers.
That tradition continues with each generation. The director of The Eglevsky Ballet, Maurice Brandon Curry, an esteemed former dancer with New York City Ballet among other companies, shares a tale that happened while rehearsing the company production of The Nutcracker.
Coming into work, I was greeted by two concerned faces. Two 10-year-old girls had something very important to discuss with me.
“Mr. Curry!”, they screamed.
“Yes, ladies?” I replied…skeptically.
“Preston is going to be the first male Bon-Bon,” said Emmanuella. “He needs a costume!”
Isadora chimed in, “Because I don’t think Preston is going to wear the costumes we wore as Bon-Bons!”
“Can WE design a costume for Preston?” asked Emmanuella. “Please, Mr. Curry!” said Isadora
I reluctantly said, “Okay, let me see what you come up with,” fully expecting them to design something silly and frivolous.
Boy, was I wrong!
They presented me with the drawing you see here. I was stunned, because it is so compatible with the costumes of the girl Bon-Bons. After a call to Chris Takashima of @MuchAdoTutus I knew I had to have this made for the show.
Neither of these girls is related to this young man. They see each other a couple of times per week at ballet. But their love and concern for each other had them create something so special. I’m a very lucky man to be surrounded by the purity, selflessness, innocence, and creativity of young minds. Truly the best part of my job.
Footnote: A happy ending, just like in the movies…. Preston’s in heaven with Marilyn Monroe on one arm and Rita Hayworth on the other.