Thank You Notes from LA Dance Community Members/OGP Grantees
On behalf of CONTRA-TIEMPO as a dance company and myself as a choreographer, I'd love to express deep gratitude for the ongoing support we have received from LA County Arts Commission over the last decade! The County's support has been instrumental in our continued growth and success as an organization. I'd also like to personally thank Laura, for your tireless advocating for artists and for the financial and structural support for art marking in LA County. We (and I ) have benefited greatly from the professional development opportunities that you have pushed for over the years! Congratulations on 25 incredible years! Best wishes!
Ana María Alvarez, Founding Artistic Director, CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater
We are deeply appreciative of everything you have done for the arts, the development of future arts leadership, and for leaving the Arts Council in better shape than when you began.
Kenneth Walker, Artist Director, Kenneth Walker Dance Project
I am grateful and honored that the universe has allowed me to learn from and with you. In my career you have been an awesome example of a strong and passionate leader. I'm grateful to you for your 25 years of service that has created a path for me to succeed and persevere. I hope this next chapter for you is filled with adventures, travel, love, happiness and some well deserved relaxation. Thank you for all you've done and what you'll continue to do.
Con Cariño, Natalie Marrero, Executive Director, Viver Brasil
Thank you for encouraging patient and deep learning as well as excellence as a dance organization that began receiving funding from LACAC in 2003. You have given us the opportunity for dance to be considered an equal amongst all art forms practiced in Los Angeles County and beyond. We at Viver Brasil thank you for allowing the development of our brand of Afro-Brazilian dance practice with live music to enrich the county residents of LA. You have demanded excellence of Viver Brasil and made the Ford Amphitheatre our home. We thank you for planting the concert and community engagement seeds so that we can offer soulful joy that has ancestry in Africa, Northeastern Brazil and developed in Los Angeles.
Your leadership has allowed for we women leaders to be fierce and courageous.
We wish you- paths wide open to create new opportunities for yourself and with whom you reach both in LA County and so far beyond!
Linda Yudin, Artistic Director, Viver Brasil
Where would we be as a dance company in Los Angeles, if it were not for you, Laura Zucker? You have led the organization of the LA County Arts Commission with such style and consummate knowledge of the arts. The grant process with the commission is often times so challenging, yet you would make us feel comfortable and confident that you could do the task. You have always been there for so many performances, such as at the Ford, with a knowing smile that again helped us relax and produce the event we envisioned. I look back on the sets created, the artistic salaries paid, the beautiful repertory created and I have to say thank you to you for making it all possible. Please continue to be present in our LA arts scene and be that leader that we wish to follow. You have set an indelible mark on the pages of Los Angeles in the history of art and performance. We, Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre and the South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, thank you for helping us build our dreams.
Nanette Brodie, Artistic Director, Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre
Thank you for your 25 years of leadership, advocacy and commitment to the arts here in Los Angeles, and best wishes for your next steps from the LACAC!
The LACAC OGP has offered a base of support to Show Box L.A. that has kept us moving forward, and able to take risks like opening our own studio (we live in space) this past year in Jefferson Park. In one year, this studio has provided a home base and affordable rehearsal space to over 75 choreographers from a wide array of forms and practices; and their works have been seen in venues across L.A. and nationally.
Thank you for helping us keep dancers going!
Meg Wolfe, Choreographer, Founder, Show Box LA
Gary was and is a valued member of the LA dance community. He served on the Board of Dance Resource Center and was the Office Manager. The Dance Resource Center gives him a standing ovation for his artistry, work and dedication to the field. See below to read remembrances and tributes from members of the LA dance community.
Anyone who ever knew or studied Dance with Gary Bates was lucky. Gary was a gifted person who's legacy is what he gave. He was a beautiful mover who had an inate quality. When he performed simply sitting in a chair was memorable. It could be serious, funny, or sensual and as exciting as fourteen turns and a stag's leap across a stage. It was a gift. That strong, subtle inner force kept him going and those qualities both subtle and strong will be passed on through those whom he taught, and those who teach. Much love to those who mourn. - Lenny Steinberg
I was sad to learn that Gary Bates had passed on and thought about him all weekend. He was a good man and a brilliant artist, I am honored to have worked with him. The process of remounting Vesalii Icones with him was an essential learning process for me. Gary taught me the importance of stillness and presence in contrast to the movement of a dance. He taught me to soften and to dance with my face. He taught me diligence and I am impressed at his ability to stick with something until you understand it and to not give up. Gary did not give up, he stayed dancing, and even now he dances with god. His faith was powerful. Gary, I will miss you, but you are part of my soul army now, you live through me as I continue to perform and teach what you taught me. Thank you friend. - Jones
Gary Bates was an intuitive, natural performer. I knew him best during his days with the dance company Eyes Wide Open. They evolved from a graduate dance program at UCLA in the 1970’s. - Fred Allen
I first met Gary Bates in 1972. The Bella Lewitzky Dance Company and the Viola Farber Dance Company (of which I was a member) shared a summer residency at American University in Washington, D.C. Gary was an amazing performer and a very generous person. After I moved to Los Angeles in 1978, Gary studied with me briefly in the Eyes Wide Open Studio in Venice, CA. and I had the pleasure of getting to know him a little better and to see his wonderful choreography and performances with Eyes Wide Open. I can not remember the year, but Gary performed an truly astonishing solo down the stairs behind the John Anson Ford Theater. He literally tumbled and danced all the way down the mountain side stairs and onto the stage. It was unforgettable. - Jeff Slayton
When I moved to LA in the early 70's, I had been a concert and Broadway dancer in New York, quickly became established teaching actors and musicians at USC, and made a splash with my first major work for concert here "The Tennis Dances". But Gary thought I could dig deeper in my work and invited me to be in residence at Loyola where he was teaching at the time. There he critiqued me as I developed "dislocated", my triptych about three homeless street girls, a battered woman, and a Japanese girl torn between her tradition and her new place in the United States. When he saw my dance/multimedia "Email Dances" he again thought I could dig deeper in the "Yellow Star" section about lost relatives in the Holocaust. In that next version I took out the emotion on the film to translate to the live dancers and his comments were "better" but you could do more. Despite a great LA Times Segal review, I felt that way too. This year, about 20 years later than the original version, I reworked it again for "A Jewish Child's Story" as I knew I could make it a better work. Thank you Gary for pushing me to keep reworking until something becomes the best it can be. - Louise Reichlin, recipient in 2002 of the Horton Awards Gary Bates Award for creativity, sustained professional achievement, and service to the community.
All photos by William Purcell
- Top Left photo: Kathy Copperman & Gary Bates in “Mysterium”
- Top Right photo: Gary Bates under Fred Strickler in “Don Q Pas de Deux”
- Bottom photo: Gary Bates with Eyes Wide Open is a dance called “Phrasing”
Photo Credit: Gennia Cui, The Future Collective