Critic At Large... Ruta Lee
We Could've Danced All Night
By Ruta Lee
Oct 19, 2008 - 1:03:57 PM

STUDIO CITY/LOS FELIZ—Last weekend was a very busy one and delightfully so. I attended two outstanding events. First on Friday, October 3, the Professional Dance Society (PDS) Fall Ball at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City (which by the way I heard is coming down to make way for yet another big ugly building. Oh, how sad to see yet another Hollywood icon venue disappear!)

This event honored two living legends: actor, dancer, acrobat, all around great guy, Russ Tamblyn (with whom I danced in my first movie, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”) and the genius choreographer Danny Daniels.

The Fall Ball is a yearly get-together for all the gypsies and is a real love fest as the dancers are incredibly warm and loving people. I think it all comes from the pain they suffer, for the love of their art. Professional Dancers Society (PDS) is headed up by dancer/philanthropist, Joni Berry, with the divine Mitzi Gaynor as president. Opening remarks by Joni saluted the members and memorialized those who had gone on to the great heavenly ballroom. Mitzi had dancers stamping their feet with laughter and delight. Her humor is as good as her tapping.

I had the pleasure of presenting the PDS award to Russ Tamblyn, after some amazing clips from his life by Lee Hale as well as clips arranged by Rusty’s beautiful and talented daughter, the brilliant new star, Amber Tamblyn.  

Speaking of clips, the half century span of Danny Daniels's body of work, film and television, was awesome”¦ once again, thanks to Lee Hale as was the Q&A with Daniels.

All in all, it was a great Fall Ball by the Professional Dancer’s Society. Their luncheon is coming up February 15, 2009 at the Beverly Hilton.

Saturday morning took me to the Lithuanian Festival at Saint Casimir’s Church over in Los Feliz”¦ Wow”¦ What a change of pace! The sausages and kraut and potato pudding and black bread and Lithuanian beer and sweets are wonderful”¦ and no matter how filling, you can polka the excess pounds off”¦ and speaking of polkas, there were many international folk dance groups and musical ensembles performing. It’s a great way to spend a unique day enjoying Lithuanian arts, crafts and certainly foods.

They’ll do it again next year”¦ usually the first weekend of October. Try it - you’ll like it.

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