Gary Bates has been a part of the Los Angeles dance community since 1960 when he joined the Eugene Loring Dance Players. As a scholarship student at the American School of Dance in Hollywood he studied with some of the top professionals of that time, including members of the Ballet Russe, Roland Petit’s Ballet Company as well as Broadway and television dancers and choreographers. His primary modern dance training came from company members of the Lester Horton Dance Company, including Bella Lewitzky.
He also trained with Carmelita Maracci, Mia Savenska, Jack Cole and Carol Scothorn.
He received his B.A. degree in dance from U.C.L.A. in 1968 and a Masters of Arts degree from U.C.L.A. in 1976. While working on his M.A. degree he taught the sophomore class and other technigue classes in the department.
He became a member of the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company in 1968 and danced and taught throughout the United States with her until 1973.
In 1974 he made his solo debut at the Monday Evening Music Concert Series at the Bing Theatre in a 45 minute solo of Peter Maxwell Davies Vesalii Icones . Later that year he and several friends co-founded the Eyes Wide Open Dance Theatre which was a major influence in Los Angeles for the next five years. He has also performed as a guest artist with the UCRiverside Dance Company, the UCLA Dance Company, Dance/LA and Lynn Dally and Dancers. He retired from dancing in 1990 but performed again with Marion Scott’s Spirit Dances in 2003 and 2004. In 2004 he received a nomination for his dancing from the 2003 Lester Horton Awards.
He has taught at Florida State University, UCLA, Scripps College, Santa Monica College summer program and Loyola Marymount University from 1968 to 1990. He has also been a guest artist at Cal Arts and UC Irvine. He has also taught in private studios in Los Angeles, Miami and West Palm Beach.
He has served on numerous funding organizations including the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, for the Music Center and the California Arts Council.
After retiring he served on the board of the Dance Resource Center and was the office manager for several years. He also assisted Don Hewitt with the Dance Kaleidoscope festival through three seasons.
Gary was a member of the original advisory board for the Dance History Project Website.
Sadly, Gary passed away on April 14, 2017.