Hip-Hop’s Influence Spreads Far and Wide

Hip-hop, the “fad” that parents, teachers, government officials and close-minded rockers couldn’t wish away fast enough 40 years ago, now has its own government-sanctioned month. (Pictured above) A dramatic reenactment of the public hearing a hip-hop song for the first time. Last year, Congress designated November as National Hip-Hop History Month, a sign not only... Continue Reading →

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 →

TALKING WITH DESMOND RICHARDSON

Photo: Brian Thomas Desmond Richardson is co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Called “one of the greatest dancers of his time” by The New York Times, Richardson danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as a principal dancer from 1987 to 1994 and, in 1997, joined American Ballet Theatre where he was... 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 →

A Whole New World: Crafting a Season

A small but mighty coterie of Straz staffers gathers the selections that make each year’s season announcement a much-anticipated event. At the start of every year, as sure as the Florida gardenias blossom, The Straz announces a new season. Every year that season blends old and new, funny and serious, musical and non-musical, spectacular and... Continue Reading →

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 →

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