Lelavision co-founders, Ela Lamblin and Leah Mann, began their collaborative efforts
in 1992 in Atlanta, GA , using original kinetic sculpture, live music, and dance
simultaneously in performance. In 1996 in Seattle, WA, they founded Lelavision, a professional touring company that has coined and perfected its own genre of performance, Physical Music. They present original performance works that cross all boundaries of appeal: race, education, language, religion, economic background, gender, and age.
Leah has always been a hyper kinetic and spacial learner. One of her first memories is of overstimulating her vestibular system and thinking she was flying. She was a competitive gymnast and found her way to dance at a Ft Bragg, N.C., army base and later with a former rockette in a rural suburb of Atlanta. Leah graduated from the University of Georgia in 1985 (BSed). She continued on to the American Dance Festival on a choreography scholarship. Shortly after, Leah co-founded Moving in the Spirit with Dana Lupton, a fellow University of Georgia graduate. She remains the Artistic Director Emeritus of this award-winning dance and urban outreach program in Atlanta, which has been thriving since 1987 and was named one of the top 10 youth development organizations in the nation. Ela and Leah began collaborating in 1993. This collaboration has sustained and evolved Leah's kinetic spacial viewpoint into a whole body, multi-intelligence, all-sensory way of living and of looking at the world, which is then brought to new life in the physical music of Lelavision. Leah is the co-founder and administrator of Integrated Music, a roster of 12 artists providing music on wards and at bedsides in Seattle Medical Center. She teaches restorative movement to Alzheimer patients at community care centers, emphasizing developmental patterns for brain health. She facilitates personal development retreats exploring hope, resilience and healing using improvisation forms, developmental movement and the exploration of polyrhythms in the body. She also teaches youth workshops to cultivate curiosity and invention using the vehicle of movement and improvisational play. Leah has been a main presenter at conferences – National Sacred Dance Guild Festival, International InterPlay Annual Meeting, and The Society for Arts In Healthcare Conferences. Leah has been awarded numerous grants and commissions from entities such as the NEA Alternate Visions Grant, the Criminal Defense and Justice Project, The Pacific School of Religion, Seattle Arts Commission, Change Inc, Bossak Heilbron Foundation, King County Special Projects, Artist Trust, 4Culture and The Puffin Foundation.
In 1989, at the age of sixteen, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Atlanta College of Art. He graduated with a BFA in sculpture in 1993. While at ACA Ela began experimenting with combining sound with form to create musical sculptures, a process that has resulted in more than forty large-scale musical instruments to date. From college onward, Ela's art has encompassed sculpture, music, film, and movement in live performance. Ela's artistic horizons continue to expand as he erases the lines between disciplines to create multi-faceted works that now include design and fabrication of public art, architectural design and planning, numerous recordings, short films and scores.
In addition to Lelavision's performance work, Lamblin has received two commissions for permanent public sculpture – Whirl Piece (2006,Yesler Terrace Community Center, Seattle, WA) and Welcome to the Wheel World (2008, Beacon Hill International School, Seattle, WA). He has also produced five CDs of music on his invented musical sculptures, the first of which, Sculptaural, was recorded through Jack Straw's Artist Support Program (1996). Others include Raga to the River, classical Indian Raga in the Dhrupad tradition (2000), and Long Period Events, engineered by Grammy nominated record producer, Tucker Martine (2005). Lamblin received the Artist Fellowship in music from Artist Trust in 2004.
"Unlike many other instrument builder/inventors, Lamblin has not begun to specialize in a particular genre of instruments, and one can only look to the future with anticipation for the fantastic instruments that will be born of this artist's fertile imagination!"
– Experimental Musical Instruments Magazine
"Maybe it's her compassion and insight, which influence her art . It could be her willingness and ability to look inside herself and study the fears, hopes and happiness that she shares with humanity. ..... For Leah Mann, dance is the structure upon which a better world can be found."
-– Creative Loafing, Atlanta