Biography

Christian Holder enjoyed a successful career as leading dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in New York, where he worked with choreographers: Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Kurt Jooss, and Leonide Massine. He has choreographed and designed costumes for the Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet Conçierto de Puerto Rico, Ballet Théâtre de Bordeaux, Atlanta Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. He has designed stage wardrobe for Ann Reinking and Tina Turner.

2004 saw Christian reciting Gertrude Stein as The Narrator in The Joffrey Ballet’s production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s 1937 ballet, A Wedding Bouquet, at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The occasion that brought him back as a guest artist with the Joffrey Ballet was the Ashton Centenary. Then in 2006 the Joffrey Ballet invited him to perform again, this time as one of the Ugly Stepsisters in their production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s 1948 masterpiece, Cinderella.

Back in London after decades based in New York, in 2010 Christian was given an exhibition of his designs and paintings, by Artscape Ltd: a division of Rosenstiel’s Widow and Son Ltd, the art publishers in Chelsea. The show displayed his work along with his father’s, Boscoe Holder, and that of Oliver Messel, the master English designer, who was a friend of the family, and whose designs for ballet inspired Christian as a child.

In April 2015 Christian made his debut as a vocalist in his cabaret, At Home And Abroad, at The Crazy Coqs, in Piccadilly. A second show, Suite 60s, premiered in May 2016. The Musical Director for both shows was Philip Foster. In August 2016 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London hosted an interview in which Christian spoke about his life as a performer in New York and London. This was in conjunction with their Curtain Up: Celebrating 40 Years Of Theatre In London And New York exhibit.

Christian Holder’s performing career began as a child in London, where he attended the Corona Academy Stage School. He appeared in repertory theatre in Bromley and Wimbledon, and on the television series The Avengers, Danger Man, and Play of the Week. A 1955 BBC production of Moby Dick, although unfinished, provided him with the privilege of being directed, as Pip the Cabin Boy, by Orson Welles. He also danced, beginning at age four, with his father’s London-based company, Boscoe Holder and his Caribbean Dancers.