Excerpt of “Banda” with Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder (1957) ….
Geoffrey Holder’s Banda dance debuted in the 1954 Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical House Of Flowers. Holder the Baron of The Cemetery (based on the Haitian Loa of Death Baron Samedi) and received both a performer and choreographer credit in the program. The Broadway musical takes place somewhere in the West Indies during Mardi Gras weekend.
The cast of the musical was a who’s who of African-American talent including Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll, Juanita Hall, Ray Walston, Carman de Lavallade, Alvin Ailey, Ada Moore, Arthur Mitchell, Walter Nicks Louis Johnson, and Glory Van Scott. Oliver Messel won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design, the show’s only nomination. The show closed on May 21, 1955 after 165 performances.