Nacho Everyday Percussionist

Nacho Arimany’s years working with rhythm showed him how natural harmonic patterns heal the human body and mind. At first glance, Nacho Arimany can easily be confused for a European version of holistic healer J.P. Sears in the “Ultra Spiritual” spoofs. But after a few moments into an interview or demonstration, Arimany reveals himself as... Continue Reading →

Go With the Flow

Florida-born National Water Dance Day connects dancers to the life source Earth is mostly water, a chemical compound that covers about 71% of the surface of our extraordinary, life-rich planet. The infant human body, by comparison, starts at about 75% water (so, very similar), though we drop in wetness as we age. The human fruit,... Continue Reading →

What Is Up With Not Sitting Down

A humorous look at the rise of the standing ovation … guess this is just what we do now. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet directed by Matthew Warchus, Plácido Domingo in a solo concert of arias, the premiere of Neil Simon’s Rumors, the launch of Broadway’s Footloose, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Firebird with *the* Virginia... Continue Reading →

Bravo Company

How the Arts Change the Lives of America’s Wounded Warriors On any given day in America, between one and 20 veterans commit suicide. However, arts experiences help military personnel and their families amid the psychological and physical consequences of time at war. This grim statistic from research by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs... Continue Reading →

Call Me Xalam, Banjar, Strum Strum or Merrywang

The story of America’s instrument The meek and pluck-twangy sidekick to guitar and fiddle didn’t get its propers before Deliverance ruined an entire generation on banjo music and canoe trips to rural Georgia. The lone ambassador of a spectacular and truly (colonial) American history, the banjo is considered by folk musicologists to be the only... Continue Reading →

Virtual Sensations

How social media and television talent shows changed performing arts programming Some baby-faced tween covers a Chris Brown tune on YouTube. It goes viral. R&B superstar Usher sees the video. Signs the kid to his label. The kid’s name? Justin Bieber. Beliebe it: so much of our culture rapidly evolved and adapted once folks figured... Continue Reading →

The Piano Guy

The Straz Center official piano tuner Kevin Patterson on what it takes to keep the ivories in the pink. The average home piano needs a tune up about twice a year, but when your livelihood and music critics are on the line, a good concert piano gets its ivories tickled, twisted, polished and pricked before... Continue Reading →

Give ‘em the ol’ Razzle Dazzle

Need a song-and-dance cabaret act for your next event? Look no further than Ovation!, the Patel Conservatory’s traveling troupe of professionally trained entertainers for hire. For a few years, a delightful idea from the Patel Conservatory’s theater department rolled around in The Straz’s creative hopper: what if ... is it possible ... could we have... Continue Reading →

Lizzie Borden Took an Acts

Performing arts adaptations of one of America’s most grisly and haunting murder stories The facts are simple. On Aug. 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were found dead in their Falls River, Mass., home from multiple hatchet wounds. Police found no sign of a struggle, no convincing murder weapon, no bloody clothes on any possible... Continue Reading →

What Is Love? Baby, Don’t Hurt Me.

Mary Shelley, the first science fiction novel and why Victor Frankenstein is not just a deadbeat dad but the worst human ever. It literally was a dark and stormy night. In 1816. Self-appointed (accurately) poetic geniuses Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley lounged in Byron’s Swiss chalet during one of the darkest, rainiest summers on... Continue Reading →

Extra Sensory Perception

How the stage allows us to get inside another person’s experience “You never know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes,” goes the popular adage about trying to be less judgmental and more compassionate. The key to getting in someone else’s shoes is to imagine what his or her experience must be like,... Continue Reading →

Open To Interpretation

The Thursday night show during each Broadway run has a special performer, one whose acting and choreography chops never make a sound. As part of its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) initiative, the Straz Center secures a sign language interpreter for the Thursday night show in the Broadway series, with The Illusionists being the first... Continue Reading →

Talking With Yu Ho-Jin, The Manipulator

This week, we are pulling a little sleight-of-hand by sharing this “Behind the Persona” feature from the Straz Center’s INSIDE magazine featuring Yu Ho-Jin, The Manipulator, from The Illusionists, which returns to Tampa Sept. 23. How did you get started in the business? I got into magic at the age of nine after witnessing a... Continue Reading →

Witness the Strength of Street Knowledge – A Day Talking Race, Culture and Percussion with Conga Legend Gumbi Ortiz

I. The Lesson, Part 1 “Don’t be scared! You’re tip-toeing like you’re nervous.” We were nervous. There we were, in Gumbi Ortiz’s private recording studio in Gulfport, FL, getting an impromptu conga lesson—and Gumbi Ortiz is, after all, one of the greatest percussionists alive. We don’t play drums. “Put the tips of your hands here... Continue Reading →

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