102 year old Dancer Sees Herself on Film for the First Time

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Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Although she danced in numerous movies, commercials and TV shows, she had never seen any of them, and all of her photographs and memorabilia have been lost over the years.

With the help of Mark Cantor of http://jazz-on-film.com we finally our hands on three “Soundies” Alice appeared in, and were able to show them to her for the very first time. She had never seen herself in motion in her life!

If you’d like to send Alice fan mail we would love to see her get the adoration she deserves after so many years! (We’ll do our best to read some of your comments to her as well.):

Alice Barker
c/o Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home
835 Herkimer Street
Brooklyn, NY11233

For more info about the dancers of the Harlem Renaissance, we recommend the lovely documentary “Been Rich All My Life” —several of the women in the film danced with Alice back in the day!

To clarify: We are just friends of Alice who made this video. I’m a volunteer who visits the home with my dog for pet therapy, and have known Alice for 8 years. The woman in the video is the a recreation leader at the home. This was filmed as an afterthought, and we’re so thrilled that it’s brought so much joy to everyone and attention to Alice, who is loving it! Thank you all!

Jonathon Fulkerson
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This entry was posted in Articles, Film & TV on by .

About Jonathon Fulkerson

After 15+ years as an IT professional. Jonathon decided to return to school in hopes of one day troubleshooting the most universal problem effecting all. Death, pain, and suffering by aging. As an undergraduate he is currently performing research in Dr. Richard Bennetts lab at the University of Southern Indiana, as well as volunteering for various organizations including the Buck Institute for research on Aging.

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