At 102-years-old, it’s hard to witness anything new in life. But when Alice Barker saw film of herself dancing in a chorus line during the Harlem Renaissance in the ‘30s and ‘40s, it was as if she were seeing herself for the first time.
According to Mashable, David Shuff and Mark Cantor of the Celluloid Improvisations Music Film Archive unearthed film of Barker that had been filed under the name “Baker” and held a screening for her at her Brooklyn nursing home.
Shuff, who owns a therapy dog, told Mashable that he had met Barker years ago while visiting her nursing home with his pup. Everyone at the nursing home knew that Barker had been a famous dancer, sharing the stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra, but all of her memorabilia had been lost…
After a watching a few videos, Barker got right back into the swing of things.
“How did it feel seeing yourself?” one woman asks Barker. “Making me wish I could get out of this bed and do it all over again,” Baker responds.
Not only that, the film brought back a flood of memories for Barker, reports the Washington Post:
She remembered the time vividly: the singers, their songs and the feeling of being carried away in the music. “I used to often say to myself, ‘I am being paid to do something that I enjoy doing and I would do it for free, because it just felt so good doing it,” Barker said. “Because that music, you know, I just get carried away in it.”…
Thank you, Mr. Huff and Mr. Cantor, for gifting Ms. Barker with recordings that she’ll be able to watch on her own and with friends as often as she likes.