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Dance Day is on the way

October 01, 2004

Andrew Edwards

In Laguna, first you start a theatrical company, then you get some

dancers, then you start the music.

That, at least, was Steve Josephson's plan when he founded

Gallimaufry Performing Arts.

"My idea for the company was to have three divisions, one for each

of the disciplines of the performing arts," Josephson said.

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He started with theater, Gallimaufry's first show was "42nd

Street," which debuted in July. He became one step closer to

completing his trifecta when Gallimaufry merged with another Laguna

group, the California Choreographers Dance Festival.

Their first post-merger event is set for Saturday when Dance Day,

the choreographer's semi-annual event, comes back to Laguna.

"We're sure we're going to have a dynamic marriage," said Stu

Byer, the dance festival's vice-president.

Josephson is still working on adding a musical division to

Gallimaufry, but had his eye on the dance festival when he started

the company.

"We kind of set up Gallimaufry knowing the dance festival was

going to be part of it," he said.

The merger was approved unanimously by the dance festival's board

in July, Byer said. Joining forces was perceived as a chance for the

dance festival to grow.

"We really wanted to do more than we're currently doing," Byer

said.

Previously, the dance festival has held Dance Day events twice

each year, and always at Main Beach. Byer said he hopes more dance

events at a wider array of venues will be planned in the future.

A new artistic director, Jodie Gates, was chosen to oversee

Gallimaufry's new dance activities. Gates started her professional

career with the Joffrey Ballet when she was 16-years-old. She has

danced as a principal ballerina with the Pennsylvania and Frankfort

ballets.

Gates is looking for a place to live in Laguna and is looking

forward to being a part of community dance events.

"I loved moving to music, and I still do," Gates said. "It makes

my heart sing, and if somehow I can share that passion with the rest

of the community I've done a good job."

As Josephson is planning to make his group larger, he is hoping to

launch bigger events. Next October, he wants to hold a two-week dance

festival in Laguna, and start his own theatrical festival at another

time of year.

Dance Day is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday with free

classes at Legion Hall, 348 Main Beach. The next event on the agenda

is a free 3:15 p.m. performance at Main Beach, which is set to

feature dance styles like tap, modern and Afro-Brazilian. The third

and final event of the day is scheduled to be a fundraiser for

Gallimaufry at Emerald Bay.

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