FIVE FUN FACTS: Tatiana Melendez

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Tampa appearance also will serve as a homecoming for one of the company’s dancers, Tatiana Melendez. Melendez is a genuine sensation in the dance world. She was racking up dance competition awards for both contemporary and ballet before she entered her teens. She’s in her third season with the company, and its... Continue Reading →

Cracking Open Nuts of Trivia on The Nutcracker

Nutcracker Facts To Chew On Everyone has their touchstone that truly marks the holiday season. It could be Black Friday shopping, or when the first tree lot opens, making grandmother’s latkes or gathering around the television for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or A Charlie Brown Christmas. In this writer’s home, it was when dad spotted... Continue Reading →

Swan Dive

“It might be a good idea to call all ballets Swan Lake. That way, people will come!” - George Balanchine For a good portion of the mid to late 20th century, the neoclassical and plotless ballets, typified by the works of George Balanchine, were the favor of choreographers. Music and technique-driven ballets such as Serenade... Continue Reading →

Straz Recommends: Performing Arts Documentaries

With performing art centers, such as The Straz, temporarily shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cable networks and streaming services are tapping into a large bank of available documentaries centered on the performing arts so we can satisfy our appetite for theater, dance, opera and more. And though documentaries generally don’t bring in Marvel box... Continue Reading →

Pardon My French

The French codified ballet under King Louis XIV by defining the five basic positions of the feet and setting a catalog of positions related to the “turn-out” of the legs in the hip sockets (i.e., the legs rotate out of the hips instead of facing forward). Placement, a.k.a. alignment, and lift, a.k.a. pull-up, became fundamentals... Continue Reading →

House of Karinska

How a Russian defector built couture fashion from ballet costumes during the rise of New York City Ballet Chanel. Gucci. Givenchy. These famous fashion houses earned notoriety for their signature styles, making their designs easily recognizable – the Chanel suit, the Gucci bag, the Givenchy dress. In the golden age of American ballet, during the... Continue Reading →

Confessions of a Costumer

The performing arts are big business. In this industry, we have a lot of super important jobs for people who love the theater but who may have no interest in performing. This week, we sat down with Straz Center costumer Camille McClellan, who costumes dance and musical theater productions for the Patel Conservatory, to find... Continue Reading →

Tools of the Trade: Dance

We’ve realized Straz fans love knowing what goes on outside of the spotlights, so we’re running a short series called Tools of the Trade, listing some cool and maybe-unheard-of tools for life in the performing arts. This week’s spotlight is on dance. Rosin Box Slippery dance shoes? Slick flooring? No problem, thanks to this useful... Continue Reading →

Pardon My French

On the neck of the foot? The bite of the donkey? The French codified ballet under King Louis XIV by defining the five basic positions of the feet and setting a catalog of positions related to the “turn-out” of the legs in the hip sockets (i.e., the legs rotate out of the hips instead of... Continue Reading →

Alicia Alonso: La Reina de Todo

Ella es la reina del baile. La reina de musica. La reina … de todo. Ask Cubans “who is Alicia Alonso?“ and you will hear this short, comprehensive explanation: she is the queen of dance. The queen of music. The queen … of everything. Alonso, born in Havana in 1920, possessed a gift for dance... Continue Reading →

Onward, Cavaliers

NGB’s Sugar Plum Fairies Get Sweet Partners in NYCB Principal Amar Ramasar and MCB Principal Renan Cerdeiro The word is out about the big ballet stars appearing in Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker, which features the George Balanchine grand pas de deux and New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns and former Miami City Ballet principal... Continue Reading →

EXCLUSIVE: Retired Miami City Ballet Principal Ballerina-Turned-Teacher Patricia Delgado Talks Sugar Plum Fairy and Dancing in Nutcracker at The Straz

Lauded principal ballerina Patricia Delgado retired from Miami City Ballet this year after an extraordinary career with the company that began when she was 16 years old. An exquisite technician and breathtaking artist, Delgado gave soul to MCB, and arrived at The Straz last summer as a guest artist (along with Balanchine great Edward Villella)... Continue Reading →

Manual Transmission

Dance lineage is a big deal. A very big deal. So, when Next Generation Ballet got a descendant of Jerome Robbins, who was guided by George Balanchine, who was instructed by Marius Petipa, the Straz Center leapt for joy. Philip Neal, the artistic director for Next Generation Ballet, came to us from New York City... Continue Reading →

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