Artists We Love: Gregory Hines

In Honor of National Tap Dance Day, May 25 The talent embodied by one of the Artists We Love – actor and tap dancer extraordinaire Gregory Hines – literally started at the tips of his toes and the bottom of his heels. Born in New York City on Valentine’s Day 1946 to Alma and Maurice... 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 →

Breaking Good

We expect to see gymnasts, divers, volleyball players and runners in the summer Olympics. But B-boys and B-girls? For the first time, in the 2024 Olympics to be held in Paris, breakers will be competing for gold, silver and bronze medals. Says Tatiana Sophia Eriksen, who teaches breaking and other forms of hip-hop dance for... 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 →

Arts Legacy REMIX

What started as a conversation about celebrating the Tampa area's rich artistic heritage turned into a free concert series drawing unexpectedly large crowds. The Straz Center's Arts Legacy REMIX was a long time in the making and looks like it's here to stay. After a brutal warrior’s stint in Vietnam that gave him an ultimatum... Continue Reading →

Girl Power

The Straz Center arts education partnerships program with Tampa’s The Centre for Girls In addition to our many performances, lectures, classes and workshops, the Straz Center hosts a super cool outside-of-the-spotlight arts education partnership program which brings us into fruitful, fun and inspiring relationships with many organizations around the area. This semester, one of our... Continue Reading →

We Know the Mission

Straz Salutes is an organizational mission to make sure our military and veteran communities know they have a place at The Straz. We provide tickets, outreach programs and presentations for military, veterans and their families. We’ve always had a soft spot for military, veterans and their families, which is why we’ve offered discounted tickets for... 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 →

Stompin’ Around

Everybody, everywhere’s got rhythm. African juba. Irish jig. American tap. African-American step. Indian Kathak. Argentine malambo. Gumboot, chancleta, Spanish flamenco, Cuban flamenco, trash percussion (think STOMP). From all the varied, colorful corners of our endearing and often baffling human society, rhythm dances emerge, catch on like wildfire and become a common language amongst us. Tribes... 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 →

Ashe! Ashe!

The Florida African Dance Festival in Tallahassee Celebrates 21 Years June 7-9 “Ashe,” pronounced ah-SHAY, similar to “sashay,” and also spelled “ase,” is the Yoruba word for a West African spiritual concept of the life-force energy. Everything has ashe. Everything has the power to transmit and communicate ashe—and two very powerful forms of working with... 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 →

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