Biographies



Louise Reichlin


"A gift for arresting dance imagery matched to a sophisticated sense of choreographic structure." Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times

Louise Reichlin, Managing and Artistic Director of LA C& D, and Choreographer, began her professional career in New York performing in concert and on Broadway, has performed and choreographed throughout North America. Since 1972 she has worked extensively from her Los Angeles base, founding LOS ANGELES CHOREOGRAPHERS & DANCERS, the non-profit base of Louise Reichlin & Dancers, in 1979. Louise feels dance is a medium that reflects the human condition, and is interested in creating works that allow the spectator to experience feelings and relate to others with an expanded understanding and awareness of who we are, and how we all form one community. Performances with concert choreographers include Jose Limon, Helen Tamiris, Charles Weidman, and Meredith Monk. Broadway choreographers include Michael Bennett and Jerome Robbins. Besides teaching and choreographing for the Ballet Folklorico De Guatemala y Grupo de Danza Moderna, her choreography has been seen in the United States at the American Dance Festival, Dance Kaleidoscope, in 16 mainstage productions for USC Drama and Opera, for the Shakespeare Festival/LA's production of Much Ado About Nothing, and Theatrical Arts International's Caution, Men at Work: TAP, in addition to thousands of performances and workshops by her company throughout Southern California. Reichlin has choreographed (with Alfred Desio) industrials and corporate events for Schick Wilkinson, Alliance Funding, and Ford Motors for the Taiwan Taipei International Motor Show.

Many of her concerts include audience participation works. In the 90's, she began using her concert choreography for her company in partnerships with orchestras and theater companies, and in the contemporary rock/concert/musical form. She has also choreographed a number of stage productions targeted for children. In her concert work she has created several major works for families, the most recent being The Better to Bite You With and The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Her new full-length work is The Reality Series - including The Shampoo, Los(t) Angeles, and Identity.

Reichlin was a National Performance Network (NPN) artist from 2003-06. In 2002 Reichlin was awarded the Gary Bates Service Award by the Horton Awards Committee, a three pronged award for creativity, sustained professional achievement, and service to the Community. In 2003, the Beverly Hills Outlook selected Reichlin as a runner-up for Choreographer of the Year. In 2004 four company programs were selected for the opening presentation of the LA County Arts Education web site. Six more were added later that year. Reichlin and LRD is on the Kennedy Center Approved Artist Roster. Other awards and grants included a $14,000 Faculty Research and Innovation Fund Grant for a choreography and performance project from USC that led to the work for her company Celtic Suite, an EZTV/CyberSpace Media Access Award for Production/Collaboration for The E-Mail Dances, and last season's grants for the company were from the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and the Culver City Performing Arts Grant Program with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

COMMISSIONS

One of the commissions Louise had the most fun with was from the Los Angeles Zoo, where she was invited to write, produce, and choreograph special programs combining animals, sports, and dance for the summer of Olympics, 1984, when the company was in residence for 22 performances.

About the same time kinetic artist Elfi Chester asked Reichlin to do an experimental work for an 11 foot high monofilament kinetic sculpture and dancers that illustrated angular momentum. It was first performed at the Laguna Beach Arts In Motion Festival.

In August 2003, Reichlin was commissioned for a second time to create new dances for performance with the Pasadena Pops Orchestra at Descanso Gardens. Using her company, this included an hour of new modern pieces to music by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Milhaud, as well as a Tango Suite to Astor Piazolla, a suite from Grease, and a ballet to Tchaikovsky.

2003 was also a year for increased national and international touring of "Dream Scapes", multi-media work written and composed by Steve Reid, Bamboo Forest. With a first version created for a video shoot in Los Angeles, the work which also includes 5 Cirque du Soleil performers along with Reid's band and 4-6 members of Reichlin's company was first performed in Orlando FL in 2000 and revised in July 2002 at El Portal Theatre in CA. Dances include Come Fly Away, The Fire of the Heart, Secrets of the Himalayas, The Web of Life, Cyber Cafe, Dream Scapes, Flowers in the Snow, and Rhythm Alley.

CHOREOGRAPHY

Louise's recent works for her company include The Better to Bite You With (dance/theatre/multimedia)('09),The Reality Series - including The Shampoo, Los(t) Angeles,and Identity('07-'08), Dance at the Stone House (site specific interactive work ('07), The Patchwork Girl of Oz (dance/theatre/multimedia) ('01-'02), Dream Scapes ('00-'02), The Lion and the Mermaid ('99), The Five Sisters ('99), The E-Mail Dances (dance/theatre/multimedia) (5 versions '96-'98), The Woman With One Head ('97/'99), Dances of Assimilation ('95), Easy and Uneasy Pieces (94), Turkish Delights ('93), Urban and Tribal Dances (6 dances choreographed between 1990 and 1992), Communal Dream ('92), Metamorphosis ('91), Gaelic Scrawl ('90, a new dance for Celtic Suite created in 1983 and '84), dis-located ('89), as well as The Tenderland (opera '90), Midsummer Night's Dream (opera '96), and A Special House, Charlie, and Frankenbean and the Monster Carrots , 3 original musicals for the LA Children's Museum in 1996 and 1997. Frankenbean toured nationally, closing at the Smithsonian in the fall of 1997. A special interest of the company has been producing the work of other Los Angeles based choreographers, and Louise produced the works of 22 in her New Works Dance Festivals. Since concentrating on presenting only her own and Alfred Desio's works since 1989 on her company, Louise also produced the "Dance At Brand" series for the city of Glendale, which has allowed her to continue providing opportunities for more than a dozen companies to have their work presented. The Tennis Dances remains Louise's most acclaimed work, with performances at outdoor festivals and major theaters for audiences of thousands, to small galleries and elementary school stages. Beside choreographing for her company, Reichlin has additional choreography for Caution: Men At Work, TAP, choreography for the Turkish Radio Television's network logo, and industrials for Schick Wilkinsen, Alliance Funding, and Ford Automotive. Reichlin's company is on the Approved Artist Roster for the Kennedy Center, and has toured to Las Vegas for 2 of their Cultural Affairs' theaters Louise Reichlin has also created a number of Family Programs, some for an all modern cast, and others including the tap unit of Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers, Zapped Tap(tm)/Alfred Desio.

EDUCATION

For many years Louise taught Movement Training for Musicians classes for the USC Thornton School of Music, in addition to her work with the company. Louise has also been a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, and at Loyola Marymount University, in addition to teaching special workshops and creating projects for the LA USD, Pasadena Citywide Arts, and at many schools and colleges. Locally, she and her company have been creating residencies for arts training of teachers and students in many of the schools in Los Angeles. This is in collaboration with the new Arts Prototype Program of the LA USD.

TOURING, GRANTS, OTHER ACTIVITIES

Louise Reichlin & Dancers has toured Arizona, California, Florida,Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Mexico. In 2002 The Patchwork Girl of Oz was premiered as part of an NPN residency. The following year Dream Scapes took the company to Mexico. Reichlin has written and often receives grants for the company from the state, county and city as well repeated funding from Mervin's and the Milken Family Foundation. Louise has created a radio series on Myth and Dance, and has often been interviewed on television, as well as having her works broadcast. She is a biographee in Who's Who in the West, and Who's Who in Entertainment, a Board member of the Hollywood Arts Council, and a member of the Dance Resource Center, Dance USA, The International Performing Arts for Youth, AEA, AGMA, and SAG. Since 1995, she has created and published a web site for her company as well as compiled and published a web site for the Southern California Dance and Directory, which now hosts 519 professional companies. Louise has served on a number of panels for Los Angeles City and County. Her degrees include a BA from Bennington College, and an MFA from UC Irvine. She also has a Professional Designation in Arts Education for the California State Standards.



Alfred Desio


Alfred Desio, was Director of Zapped Taps(tm)/Alfred Desio, and a Choreographer, and Composer until his death in February 2007. He was the inventor of electronic tap called Tap-Tronics(tm), a system that allows a tap dancer to play electronic instruments using the sound of the taps as a source. A Broadway veteran of the original Broadway productions of West Side Story, Fiddler On the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Zorba, Kean, She Loves Me, and Donny Brook, he had the distinction of being Katherine Hepburn's personal photographer for Life Magazine while a member of the cast of Coco. His innovative use of Tap and Electronics was featured in the Tri-Star film Tap starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. Alfred was invited by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. to perform his Zapped Taps at the opening of their new Experimental Gallery.

In 1987 Zapped Taps(tm)/Alfred Desio performed at Dance Theater Workshop in New York to critical acclaim. The next year, he returned to the Big Apple for Lincoln Center Out of Doors, where an audience of 6,000 attended the show. Alfred has been the subject of major television and radio programs concerned with innovative work with tap and electronics, including The Today Show, 2 On the Town, NBC News/National, Morning Edition/National Public Radio, Performance Today/NPR, and Tappin', a documentary of the making of the film Tap. He performed and was featured in a film produced by Rusty Frank and Arthur Dong about the history and future of tap as well as being featured on Canada's High Tech Culture. In 1996, Alfred worked as teacher/choreographer with Korean media star So Rhee Oak and was featured in a documentary on American Tap for the Korean Broadcasting System.

Associate Director of LOS ANGELES CHOREOGRAPHERS & DANCERS (LA C& D), the non- profit base of Zapped Taps(tm)/Alfred Desio, Alfred was a long-time faculty member of the Colburn School of Performing Arts. He has also been on the faculty of many schools including the U. of So. California, and has been a Choreographer in Residence at Loyola Marymount University. Alfred was the recipient of a Faculty Research and Innovation Fund(FRIF) grant for a collaborative project with his wife, Louise Reichlin, and has also received a choreography fellowship from the National Endowment For the Arts. In 2007, Desio was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Lester Horton Award from Dance Resource Center; he also received the Paul Kennedy Advocate of the Art of Tap Dance Award from the Los Angeles Tap Festival for his contributions including Teaching, Performing, and innovations in technology. Most recently he was the subject of a tribute presented as part of "Honoring the Tap Masters, Alfred Desio". It was produced by Hiroshi Hamanishi and Daniel Berney at the Marsee Auditorium, El Camino College. Early dance training and performance was with Jerome Robbins, Jack Cole, Peter Gennaro, Donald McKayle, and Michael Bennett; and Alfred also was assistant to Joseph Pilates, Pilates Technique.

Unusual commissions include a collaboration with Pacific Symphony Orchestra in 1990 to premier Variations for Zapped Taps(tm) and Orchestra, which he performed with the orchestra at the Orange County Performing Arts Center on two occassions. Alfred also introduced his Tap-Tronics as an enrichment lecturer on the Royal Viking Sea on a Hawaiian cruise. In 1991, he collaborated with Carol Lawrence for an industrial Small World produced for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists as she portrayed a dancing extraterrestrial. In another project, Alfred participated in an electronic duet with his partner located in another city, the event co-ordinated by video transmissions over telephone lines in four cities. Selected works include Audio Imp for the Jazz Dance World Congress in AZ, 1998, A Suite of Tap Dances, 1996 at Dance Kaleidoscope, Brandenburg Boogie premiered with Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers at Bovard Auditorium, Los Angeles, 1994, Birthday Dance, a Tap-Tronic duet for himself and tap virtuoso Sam Weber, premiered at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1992 with LA C& D, Zapped Taps Suite, 1991 at Bing Theater/USC with LA C& D. In 2000 he choreographed and performed Gould's Concerto for Tap Dancer and Orchestra with the San Diego Symphony. That same year he also created one of the title roles in the German film "Two In Tails" which has been shown in a number of international festivals. Desio co-choreographed (with Louise Reichlin) and performed a Gershwin suite with the Pasadena Pops. In August 2003 the Pops again commissioned him to create and perform a new tap solo to Bach , performed at Descanso Gardens in the program called "Kick Up Your Heels!" In February 1999 Desio directed and choreographed the original show Caution, Men At Work: TAP for Theatrical Arts Int., which toured nationally in 2000. Desio also taught and performed for the St. Louis Tap Festival that year. Additional choreography (with Louise Reichlin) includes industrials and corporate events for Schick Wilkinson, Alliance Funding, and Ford Motors for the Taiwan Taipei International Motor Show.

Always concerned with his community, Alfred Desio was awarded a commendation from the Los Angeles City Council in January 1998. Mark Ridley-Thomas, City Councilman at the time, (now an LA County Supervisor) opened the ceremony at City Hall by "this is a resolution adopted today to commend Alfred Desio on an outstanding career as a dancer, a director, a choreographer, and a composer." Besides being an accomplished teacher, Alfred created and directed a special performance project called Colburn Kids Tap/L.A. Under his umbrella, LA C& D, he received a Brody Arts Award from the California Community Foundation to have tap legend Fayard Nicholas, of the Nicholas Brothers, coach the young dancers. Alfred and the Kids performances have included Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Dance Kaleidoscope at the Ford, the LA Children's Museum, and Dance Roots at LA Theatre Center. They also performed at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. In September 2004 Desio directed and performed with his company as guests with the Clayton-Hamilton jazz Orchestra at the Anson Ford Theatre.

As a member of the WESTAF touring roster, Desio's performances included Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming, and Desio toured a solo show successfully in both rural and urban locations under the California Arts Council Touring Program. He was selected as a touring artist for the International Arts Programming Network (IAPN) to tour through the USIA sites, and through that performed in Barcelona at the international festival Dies de Dansa.


For information about these pages please contact Louise Reichlin at
louisehr@lachoreographersanddancers.org or call (213)385-1171.



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Photo credits: 1- Kenneth Johansson, 2- The Orange County Register

Updated July 25, 2009.

Copyright (c) 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, & 2009 by Louise Reichlin; all rights reserved. These pages may not be used for financial gain. These pages may not be used for commercial collections or compilations without express permission from the author. (Louise Reichlin, Southern California Dance and Directory)


Reader/Subscriber may not publish, market, download, reproduce, retransmit, distribute or sell photograph(s) and or graphic images through any electronic or other medium, or storage device, including but not limited to databases, bulletin boards and/or CD-ROM, video, audio or other multimedia product. (Louise Reichlin, Southern California Dance and Directory)