Primavera Bowman inherited her mother Hilde Holger’s London home over 20 years ago. Looking at each item gives you a revelation. “I’m learning who my family is,” Bowman said.
Bowman knew that her mother was a prominent expressionist dancer and choreographer in Vienna, Bombay and London. But she embarked on Holger’s dance career before World War II, working first with Gertrud Bodenwieser’s dance troupe and then with her own touring company, Hilde Holger Tanzgruppe. I didn’t realize how influential the
“I didn’t know my mother was so famous in Vienna until Hitler came,” said Bormann. “I have become something of a historian, a conservationist, an archivist.”
But despite years of effort, Bowman has yet to place his collection. She sorts and catalogs, maintains a detailed inventory of every sketch and letter, and prepares for opportunities to donate. Even if the archive shows immediate interest, the first task is largely a family responsibility and requires patience.
Leo Holder, the son of artist, dancer and choreographer Jeffrey Holder and dancer Carmen de Lavarado, 92, shared some of the items held when Holder died in 2014. said he hadn’t been seen in 30 years. “They lived in a 5,000-square-foot loft,” Leo said of his parents. “There was probably 500 square feet of walking space left when we moved out of that loft.”
Until then, he didn’t understand the scope of the material. “This is cinema history, black history, black theater history,” he said. “It’s not just one.”