If you haven’t seen the documentary Being Elmo, consider renting it for your next movie night. In it, puppeteer Kevin Clash recounts his story of developing what’s arguably the most lovable muppet on “Sesame Street”—Elmo. But the best part of the film is the footage of Clash’s mentor, Kermit Love.
The puppeteer and designer who helped Jim Henson create Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, Kermit Love first met Henson while working at Judson Dance Theater. But Love’s dance roots run even deeper: He’s the man behind Twyla Tharp’s signature backless tuxedos for Eight Jelly Rolls, the sailor suits for Jerome Robbin’s first ballet Fancy Free and the 16-foot Mother Ginger for the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker—not to mention his 40 year working relationship with George Balanchine. (Click here to read more about Kermit Love and his work in dance.)
Although his dance background isn’t mentioned in the film, it’s worth seeing the kooky costume designer in action. (And the film is great!)
Photo of Kermit Love and Mr. Snuffleupagus in 1985, courtesy of Sesame Workshop