Last night Blondell Cumming died, and some people won't recognize the name or know the impact she had on the field of dance. Blondell was an extraordinary woman, artist, and mentor. Her multimedia work was at the forefront of its time and although her white counterparts and collaborators received accolades and awards throughout their career for much of the work she pioneered, she will always be known by me. Her life, talent and legacy have always prompted me to develop my own sense of value. Blondell created work and influenced artists around the world yet, there are dancers and students of dance who do not know her name. The life of an artists is often spent toiling away at the completion of a vision and working tirelessly to make ends meet. Our efforts are not often understood or in some aspects even seen by patrons, family, friends, or colleagues. Therefore, the work has to be fulfilling to its creator. As artists we must define our own worth and make the work we are called to wether our names are ascribed to history or not. We must create for the sake of living an authentic life; Blondell taught me that. She taught me not to compare myself to the masses or judge my success by what the world seemed to patronize. I am grateful for her mentorship and the life she lived. She will always be an example of life, legacy, and love.
Rest in Peace Blondell Cummings