Carmen De Lavallade and Wesley (Hello, Wesley!) Fata dance (wow, do they dance!) to the Soul Bossa Nova, composed and performed by Quincy Jones.
A darling friend, who is Lost in Arles, tells us the most glorious things about Mr. Fata, and what we glean is that he is a gift of a man — a dancer, choreographer, and teacher who who sets his students firmly on the road to a life fully realized. Wherever in the world they may be…
Why, wait I can hear her voice now!
Wesly Fata is my hero. He was my mentor while I was at Yale and he taught me everything. The rest of the profs didn’t really know what to do with me there beyond stick me in the big heavy roles that I already knew how to do. Wesley sculpted me from the inside out and gave me a confidence that I cherished. He believed in me, he saw it and actually encouraged me to go to LA (which I very nearly did after a very good meeting at Paramount) instead of hiding in NYC.
He danced with Martha Graham and was the assistant choreographer of the original production of Hair on Broadway. He came to Yale just after Meryl Streep’s class (she gives him a big hug everytime that she sees him) and he taught everyone, so many actors that went on to have excellent careers. No one really knows Wesley’s age but I can tell you that he would consistently put the young 20 and 30 somethings to shame with his physical stamina and grace (as you can see in the Quincy video).
I would add that my class at Yale was during a particularly challenging time. Earl Gister, who was one of the finest acting teacher’s of our time (and who was the reason why many of my classmates went to Yale in the first place), left after our first semester. It was Wesley who looked over our class during a very rocky transitional period. He gave everything to his work, everyday and expected you to do the same without question. Yes, he wanted us to have fully realized lives, completely. There have been moments since I left acting when I needed his fearlessness (two that come to mind are with lions circling our vehicle while off-road in Tanzania and crossing through a treacherous avalanche zone in Tibet) and I would hear his voice both booming and beckoning to “Come across the floor!” a simple excercise of walking across an empty space and yet one that acquired us to assume each step, each breath–and that would get me through, it still does.
She closes with “Gros Bisous” and I wish you a beautiful day, with a heart full of Heather.