Swayze to swing into CaDance gala

October 07, 2005|By: SUZIE HARRISON

The Gallimaufry Performing Arts CaDance Festival is bringing in heavy

star power: Patrick Swayze will be the featured guest at the gala

reception Saturday night at Laguna Art Museum.

Swayze fits the bill with his outstanding acting and dancing

ability, perhaps best showcased in the 1997 hit movie "Dirty


His career includes popular favorites "Ghost" and "Point Break."


Swayze's dancing career is esteemed as well. He has been with the

Houston Jazz Ballet Company, Harkness Ballet Theater School in New

York, Joffrey Ballet Company and Eliot Feld Ballet Company.

With only three days left in this first-ever dance fest, it's not

too late to take a specialized master class, see a performance by an

internationally or nationally known dance company or attend the gala

performance and reception Saturday night.

Swayze will introduce the CaDance Festival and its artistic

director Jodie Gates at the gala, which features performances by Tony

Award-nominated dancer Desmond Richardson, Meg Paul and Christopher

Body from the Broadway hit "Movin' Out," the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet,

Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Joaquin De Luz and Miranda Weese

of New York City Ballet.

I had the pleasure of seeing the spectacular Richardson and

Complexions perform at the CaDance Dance Day in May. Their

performances were absolutely breathtaking. It was a thrill to

interview Richardson at a private reception following the event. He

is quite affable.

I was able to interview Weese before the festival when she was in

New York. She has been the principal dancer of the New York City

Ballet for 14 years.

Weese learned about the festival through her former ballet

teacher, Shery Gilbert, who founded Laguna Dance Theatre. Weese was

her first student.

"I grew up in Santa Ana and would commute every day to study,"

Weese said.

"The dance festival is a good idea, opening up the possibility for

people to see other styles, techniques and companies that aren't as

well known," she added. "It's a great thing, one of the reasons I

wanted to be a part of it.

"It's a rare opportunity to see other styles and other companies,"

Weese said. "It's a myth that only the major companies are the best

out there."

Weese has been dancing since she was 7, and by the age of 12 she

knew she wanted to be with the New York City Ballet. She started as

an apprentice in 1990.

"It was definitely my dream," Weese said. "I grew up watching all

different styles and companies -- when I saw the New York City

Ballet, I knew."

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