Louise Reichlin’s Legacy of Dance: From Generation to Generation

Louise Reichlin & dancers recently presented two afternoon shows: “The Patchwork Girl of Oz” and later in the afternoon, “The Tennis Dances,” and “A Jewish Child’s Story.” Oz was a poetically choreographed presentation of L. Frank Baum’s classic story, featuring the patchwork doll (Coree McKee), scarecrow (Kenziwe Mathebula,) Dorothy (Jill Elaine Collins), Unc Nunkie (Dion Pratt), Glinda (Eve Metsaranta), and narrator (Louise Reichlin). These characters wish to turn back time and enter the magical world of Oz, replete with country munchkins and the chance to have all wishes and dreams fulfilled. The colorful, whimsical dancers and costumes, set to upbeat tunes is the perfect combination of fantasy becoming reality. Audience interaction is abundant and this dance company would be an ideal choice for a birthday party for children of all ages. “The Tennis Shoes” first premiered in 1979 for USC Dance Theatre, with a reprise in 2019 at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. This exquisite piece, performed by Challyce Brogdon; Jill Elaine Collins, Corrina Gemignani; Coree McKee Gonzalez; Danny Guerrero; Dominique Kerch, Kensiwe Mathebula; Eve Metsaranta; Dion Pratt; and Louise Reichlin is brought back to life onstage, celebrating 40 years of talent in movement. In “A Jewish Child’s Story,” again the theme of dream meets reality resurfaces, as the little girl falls asleep to visions of K’tonton, the thumb sized boy; the Biblical heroines, Rebecca, Miriam , the Hanukkah hero Judah; and Wonder Woman. The theme of living water (mayim chayim) is ever present too, with both Rebecca at the well and Miriam’s timbrels of water, immediately inviting dance and celebration to the festive scene. Reichlin’s use of props and costumes (Linda Borough) is of memorable note as well. K’tonton is draped in a jacket reminiscent of Joseph’s coat of many colors; while Miriam’s basket is an excellent prop. This show is the perfect blend of tradition meets assimilation. A true mix of all characters from biblical heroes to superheroes performing interpretive stories through dance of the wondrous miracle of survival. http://www.LAChoreographersanddancers.org

About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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