Present Repertory

The Reality Series

The Shampoo, Los(t) Angeles and Identity

A triptych for 4-7 dancers


Choreography & Concept:

Louise Reichlin

Every day, ubiquitous ideas, objects, and movement surround us, and yet can go unnoticed. But if examined these ideas raise our awareness, expands our horizons and let us see the world in a new way. This theme guided the crafting of the three pieces in The Reality Series: The Shampoo, Los(t) Angeles and Identity. Each uses members of the audience either as volunteers, or to propel the work as it unfolds on stage.

The Shampoo: Company director Louise Reichlin asks the audience, "Who wouldn't mind getting their hair wet?" as hairdresser Lynn Campbell, owner of Shear Perfection, stands by in her black smock near a sink basin ready to simulate a shampoo. A member of the audience receives a hair wash as the dancers explore the feelings of sensuality and energy created through the tactile experience of hair, bubbles and water. The piece brings to consciousness the latent feelings of sensuality, freedom and comfort present in a simple salon shampoo.

Los(t) Angeles: Although it's technically one city, LA's diverse cultures spawn innumerable perceptions and realities, often dividing the city along multiple lines, as with the recent immigration protests. Dancers recruit audience members to explore modern hip-hop and traditional ethnic dance forms, while others are content to watch. Through this process, the disconnectedness between the cast, the audience members participating and those watching will mirror many of the realities of one of the most diverse cities on Earth.

Identity: Have you ever received spam email asking you:

to buy the willing wife?

to save a dying man?

to sponsor a queen?

to trust an assassin?

to free a doomed mistress?

to make a deal with an entrepreneur?

to hide money for a soldier?

Director Louise Reichlin was inspired by some of the creative appeals she actually receives, and this work is both a dance and an interactive identity mystery. The audience discovers clues and controls movement themes between shadowy dancers, working together to strip away identities and layers of realities in order to solve the mystery. The piece was developed in collaboration between Reichlin and the dancers with the content humorous, frightening, and touching.

The Shampoo, Part of the Reality Series.

Photos by Paul Antico and Dustin Pearlman. Graphics by Kristi Mathias.

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This page was last revised on January 10, 2012.