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Louise (Anderson) Bilman, a trained musician and former professional accompanist, originally from Canada, has pursued studies in Greek music since 1960. She taught the dance portion of UCLA's first course in Greek music, given by Dr. Sotirios Chianis in 1966, and together they set up the first formal course of dance instruction in a Southern California Greek Orthodox church, which was courageously pioneered by St. Katherine Church of Redondo Beach, California. That same year, Louise performed with an impromptu performing group for a Folk Dance Federation, South, festival (see photo at left).
In 1964, she was instrumental in bringing together the people who were to start The Intersection Folk Arts Center and Restaurant in Los Angeles, Califronia.
Louise taught an academic course on Greek folk dance, "Greek Dance in its Cultural Context," at UCLA from 1968 to 1975. She traveled extensively on a series of study tours to Greece, initially with Dr. Chianis and his family on an ethnomusicology course, and subsequently each year independently. Her area of interest has taken her for extended visits to Samothrace, Northwest Epirus, Western Crete, and the Thracian border areas.
Louise has focused her research in Kalymnos and the central Dodecanese Islands since 1976. Because her study is not only the forms of dance but also its social utilization as a representation of community values, she is interested in the "raw material" -- the dances and songs of shepherds and sponge fishermen of small villages -- rather than performance groups, as a vehicle to perpetuate traditional values. She has presented seminars on this topic at the ITHACA Cultural Study Program in Crete, under the direction of Dr. Nikos Germanacos.
Since 1985, she has served as a judge in the annual Greek Orthodox Youth Folk Dance Festival.
Louise Bilman is a licensed clinical psychotherapist in private practice since 1962, is married to Josef Bilman, and has a daughter, Catherine.
On April 12, 2013, Kypseli, a Greek folk dance group that Louise had taught for many years, held a surprise 90th birthday party for her.