Nureyev--The Toes of the Town : Dance

Even before Rudolph Nureyev and his stars of the Paris Opera Ballet dance their opening night performance at the Civic Theatre on Friday night, a black-tie audience will toast the legendary danseur at a preperformance party.

The Nureyev Gala, a major fund-raising event to benefit the San Diego Foundation for the Performing Arts, will bracket the performance with a champagne supper before curtain time and dancing and dessert with Nureyev and his dancers after the concert. Both bashes are scheduled for the U.S. Grant Hotel.

"We hope to raise nearly one-third of our $323,000 goal for the 1987-88 season," said the foundation's development director, Fred Colby, "and give our supporters a night to remember."

Meanwhile, the Nureyev tickets are selling like hot cakes. Most of the seats were spoken for by the middle of last week.

"We sold 77% of the tickets with more than a week to go," said Diane Annala, executive director of the foundation, "and the rest have been moving at about 5% a day, so we expect to have a sellout.

"We're getting calls from people who have never even seen a ballet before, from people who couldn't pronounce Nureyev's name and who never attended any event at the Civic Theatre. It's really very exciting, and it's an important part of our audience development. We hope (the first-timers) will feel more comfortable about coming to other concerts."

Fascination with Nureyev--the man and the dancer--was strong enough to attract a packed house at the Westgate Hotel for "Notes on Nureyev," a lecture on the artist given by Dance magazine contributor Bill Fark. Like the Nureyev Gala, this event was sponsored by the Friends of the Performing Arts, a support group that now numbers 125 volunteers.

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