Present Repertory

The Baggage Project

2010-present for 8-10 dancers + narrator

Interactive dance/theatre/multimedia program

1. Tap Dance Widows Club

   50 minutes, film & live

  1. *Choreography, direction, concept:

      Louise Reichlin

  1. *Additional digital treatment:  

      Audri Phillips

2. Mourning Light 6 minutes

* Choreography: Louise Reichlin

  1. *Digital projection: Audri Phillips

3. Remembrance 6:30 minutes

* Choreography: Louise Reichlin

  1. *Digital projection: Audri Phillips

   based on photos and images   

   submitted on Facebook of

   departed  ones.

From our audiences, recorded

11/17/2012 4 pm

(another review bottom of page)

“Beautiful integration of the different genres together; really worked in sync for me. Did a great job combining tap as well as modern.”

“I enjoyed the live tap-dancing; very inspiring; these films should be more readily available to a younger generation.”

From Facebook & emails

“Thank you for such a moving performance yesterday. amazing. ...... enthralled by the terrific work of your dancers and the Tap Dance Widows Club was such a fantastic remembrance of those truly talented husbands and wives... Such insights. Sooo wonderful! Thank you again for what you do...Very moving!!!”

"What a wonderful group...congratulations on a beautiful and moving performance."

"Last Sunday's show was spectacular!  I could barely keep my own feet still!" "The dancers wowed us from start to finish. Everything was wonderful, including the Widow's Club presentation with film. It was informative, inspirational, and just the right length. The 'Tap Tribute' was absolutely amazing and charming."

The first video, right column, is drawn from one we used to talk about the making of "Tap Dance Widows Club". The first part are clips drawn from the storyline of the film/media portion, and the 2nd part focuses on the live dancers in a modern work (choreography by Louise Reichlin) that draws from the styles and periods in the story, and in a tap dance recreating one of the dances in Alfred Desio's "Caution: Men At Work Tap". Because of the complexity of the story, I decided to focus instead on some of the historic clips and the live dance for this short sample. The complete 50' work brings together multiple dance forms in a unique multimedia piece using the power of Dance; an inside story from 30's Hollywood to now. Louise Reichlin (widow of Alfred Desio), Loretta Zerby (widow of Jon Zerby), & Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas 

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This page was last revised on March 4, 2018

(widow of Fayard Nicholas) met to share their memories, photos, & videos of their well-known husbands. Their conversations about moving forward without their husbands' physical presence are hilarious and moving, becoming the audio for the transformative work.

“Mourning Light”, directly above, from our performance of “Baggage” at the Miles Memorial Playhouse. Videographer Adrian Ravarour. In “Mourning Light”, only one of the people is alive - the others are vibrant non-corporal beings carried around as Baggage by the people that they were closest to when alive.

Artists statement: In 2010-11 I began a new direction in the Reality Series called the "Baggage Project". In 2007 my husband and partner of 39 years Alfred Desio passed away. Even though Alfred is no longer here, I believe his nurturing spirit still remains with me. While no two people grieve identically, one commonality of grief is this lingering "baggage" carried after losing a loved one. Although the word "baggage" often carries a negative connotation, the works in my series redefine the term as a continuation of life and a feeling of comfort from this energy and influence. In June 2012, I was one of 7 national artists selected by Marc Bamuthy Joseph, Director of Performing Arts at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, to present my creative impulse behind this work for the closing portion of the Dance USA conference called Vision 20/20. That current creative work was Tap Dance Widows Club, drawing from the 50' film and live presentation from The Baggage Project, a series on how we are affected by those who are no longer with us because of the strong connection when alive. Since the loss of my husband, I have become aware that half of our culture shares this kind of presence after personal losses. The works inspired by this have met with wonderful audience reaction and many requests for more works in the Project.

Below are some of the photos of the production by Paul Antico. The couple in white is from “Brandenburg” from Tap Dance Widows Club”. The others are from a new section shown in progress with the working title “new york 1960's, hot sidewalks, moondog on 6th ave, splatter paint, subways, patti arrives” inspired by Patti Smith’s best seller “Just Kids” about the early relationship of her and Robert Mapplethorpe. Also below is another video about the making of the film for Tap Dance Widows Club. After that is a review from Last is a new live dance section from Tap Dance Widows Club premiered in the April 2015 performance at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles.

L.A. Dance Showcase Sees The City's Dance Through A Wide Angle Lens

by Jessica Abrams
August 27, 2013

Santa Monica, CA

“Louise Reichlin/L.A. Choreographers and Dancers's multimedia work the "Tap Dance Widows Club" told the story, in both video and movement, of the love of three performers for their late husbands and the bond it created between them. The piece opened with a video of Louise Reichlin (widow of John Alfred Desio), Loretta Zerby (widow of Jon Zerby) and Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas (widow of Fayard Nicholas)catching up in a living room setting, laughing and chatting about their late husbands who were all renowned tap dancers. Video clips such as one of Desio rigging a machine designed to electrify tap dance sounds and of the brilliant Fayard Nicholas in a virtuosic performance with his brother Harold are interwoven with the company's dancers interpreting the three departed tapper's work. A piece featuring three dancers tap-dancing to Black Violin brought the work of all three tap legends into a contemporary focus, particularly since the dancers were wearing sneakers and the tapping was part of the audio. An ensemble piece paid homage to the top-hat-and-tails showmanship of the Nicholas Brothers, once again in a Twenty-First Century context. The interweaving of past and present, of distinctly different worlds through both video and dance, made this piece not only unique, but deeply touching.