It was a splendid evening in a magnificent setting to launch a spectacular book. The lobby of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts was illuminated in red as Marjorie Goodson took center stage to celebrate the release of a limited edition book, entitled “MG,” that features more than 150 sensual and playful dance images that reveal her provocative and daring nature as an artist, all shot by photographer Andreea Radutoiu.
The large coffee table tome took more than three years to complete. Many of the photographs of Goodson—those where she is styled in a stunning red gown and matching ballet slippers– were taken at the beautiful and historic venue, formerly a grandiose United States post office, built during the 1930s.
Also on display during the party: Running Through the Wallis, a photography exhibit featuring stunning images of Goodson set against various locations at the campus. The Wallis partnered with Goodson on the exhibit which will be on display free to the public through March 27, while the book is on sale there before its national release on April 11.
There’s another reason to purchase the book there: All of the proceeds– literally 100%– from copies of “MG” ($85) sold during the photography exhibit will benefit the artistic, education and outreach programs at The Wallis.
Radutoiu’s other images of Goodson in the book were taken at landmark locations in Los Angeles and at the beach.
“We wanted locations that were architectural, gritty and edgy, and graphically stark and clean like their studio shots. Incorporating earthy and textural elements like the beaches, water, rocks and sand was necessary for visual balance,” Goodson says.
Goodson is 54 and she clearly rebels in using her body to create visual and physical art which is beautifully portrayed in the book. Another close collaborator is Goodson’s hair and makeup stylist, Torsten Witte.
Witte and Radutoiu were at Goodson’s side much of the night, as she met and greeted a multitude of admirers and sign copies of their books. During the gala event, music videos were shown on big screens as guests dined on sumptuous food catered by Kathleen Sacchi’s The Fine Art of Events and lifted a glass to Goodson with specialty cocktails.
The book weaves edgy, raw and dramatic concepts into classical and contemporary movement that not only pushes the creative envelope but exemplifies the concept that a person’s passion, empowerment and self-esteem should be accessible at any age.
“One thing I’ve learned from years of creating, performing and collecting art is that passion can’t be diminished or destroyed,” Goodson says. “For me, it’s always been a very deep pull and emotional connection.”
Goodson, the daughter of famed game show producer Mark Goodson (Family Feud, The Price is Right) started dancing at the age of eight at the prestigious School of American Ballet, sparking an enduring love of ballet that would fuel her for the rest of her life.
She moved to California in her 20s to pursue a career in acting and dancing. In 1986, she joined forces with Alex Trebek on her father’s game show Classic Concentration and remained there for the next five and a half years.
In 1993, with the birth of her first child, Hannah, Goodson decided to postpone a career in television for a career as a mother. Her passion for dance never diminished.
“I’ve had a love affair with dance as long as I can remember,” says Goodson, who spent nearly three years getting her body back to its dancer form for the book. “Dancing is my need, my want, my strength, my desire, my energy, my pleasure and my pain. It is my purpose and my passion and it feeds my soul.”
When her daughter left for college, Goodson renewed her focus on her own life, in her case, through movement and dance. She says she hopes the book spires readers to embrace and fulfill their own lives, needs and desires.