The Kennedy Center

Louis Falco


Louis Falco was born in New York in 1943 to Italian parents. He attended a vocational high school with the intent of becoming a photographer, but a year later he auditioned and was accepted to the New York School of Performing Arts, which changed the course of his career to dance.

In the late 1950's, he joined the Charles Weidman Dance Company and performed with the company for two years while finishing high school. After high school, in the 1960's, he danced with the José Limón Dance Company. In 1967, he founded the Louis Falco and Featured Dancers and gave the first formal concert of his own works at New York's 92nd Street YMHA, a showplace for up and coming young modern dance artists. His duet Argot with Sally Stackhouse, became a signature piece for several seasons. It projected casual intimacy and self-exploratory zeal that was reflective of the 1960s social revolution.

Combined with an easy manner and playful attitude, commissioned rock scores and frequent vocalization among the dancers, Falco's dances had an engaging and easily accessible theatrics. Renamed the Louis Falco Dance Company, Falco and his dancers moved from its 92nd Street location into regular New York theaters and wide-ranging touring. Falco's dances were stylishly turned out as he frequently collaborated with well known designers such as William Katz (Huescape) and Marisol (Caviar). During the 1970's he created dances for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ballet Rambert, Boston Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and La Scala Opera Ballet, among others. In 1974 he joined Rudolf Nureyev to perform in a revival of Limón's The Moor's Pavane. In 1980 he choreographed Fame, the feature film about his high school alma mater. His explosive dances in the film helped energize the movie and launched him on a new career in the mass media. Falco eventually disbanded his company in the early 1980's, and he pursued other media interests including choreographing music videos for musical artists.

Falco died March 26, 1993 at the age of 50. He will be remembered for the principles of weighted movement that he learned from Limón and Weidman and how he applied them to capture the turbulent, youthful spirit of his times.

Source: International Dictionary of Modern Dance
Louis Falco