Art as a Survival Tool Series: V

Speak and Be Known The theater as a place of personal and social power This blog is the last in a series of five on Art as a Survival Tool, blogs that examine the crucial role art plays in the fulfillment of the human experience. When pernicious ideas overtake the rules of man, performing arts... Continue Reading →

Art as a Survival Tool Series: III

Good Vibrations Polyrhythms, sound healing and the significance of vibration This blog is the third in a series of five on Art as a Survival Tool, blogs that examine the crucial role art plays in the fulfillment of the human experience. Famed scientist Nikola Tesla once revealed “if you want to know the secrets of... Continue Reading →

Art as a Survival Tool Series: II

Art of Healing with Breast Cancer Survivors This blog is the second in a series of five on Art as a Survival Tool, blogs that examine the crucial role art plays in the fulfillment of the human experience. A phoenix. A lotus. A human heart. These are some of the images women chose to design... Continue Reading →

Art as a Survival Tool Series: I

Creativity and Mental Illness Embracing a Life ‘Touched with Fire’ This blog is the first in a series of five on Art as a Survival Tool, blogs that examine the crucial role art plays in the fulfillment of the human experience. VanGogh and his ear. Marilyn Monroe and her everything. Mozart. Robin Williams. Nina Simone.... Continue Reading →

New NGB Artistic Director and Dance Department Chair Philip Neal Brings Legacy of Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine

In June, Philip Neal officially joined the Patel Conservatory as the artistic director for Next Generation Ballet and chair of the dance department, the position formerly held by Peter Stark. George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins were to American dance what Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio were to baseball. Heavy-hitters, game-changers, larger-than-life personalities, Balanchine and Robbins... Continue Reading →

These Are the People in Your Neighborhood

Several weeks ago, we came across the remarkable 2012 documentary Trash Dance that follows Austin choreographer Allison Orr as she collaborates with the sanitation workers of Austin, TX, whom she has cast as the stars of her latest community dance project. Not all of them are enthusiastic about it. Orr, whose other projects include firefighters,... Continue Reading →

Diversity in Ballet

Many performing arts lovers shouted “Bravo!,” “Finally!” and “What Took So Long?” when American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland broke the oft-unspoken color barrier in the European-standards of ballet to become an international star. Her recent commercial for Under Armor went viral, forcing people to rethink their notions of ballet dancers as athletes and also... Continue Reading →

FROM THE VAULT: Natalie Cole

Friday, March 20, 1992 In the early 90’s, the Tampa Tribune had a “Friday EXTRA!” section, an arts and entertainment tabloid, chock full of local and national entertainment news and events for the upcoming weekend. The section for March 20, 1992, featured the headliner of weekend events at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Natalie... Continue Reading →

Sustain: Practical Issues in the Performing Arts

The Straz happened in the 80s, not exactly an era marked by prioritizing green buildings. So, we have challenges as we improve sustainability. Fortunately, we have great local partners helping us figure out what to do next. Here’s who they are, and what’s ahead for The Straz’s eco-lution. Sustainable facilities isn’t the sexiest topic in... Continue Reading →

Building Instrumental

   The Straz Center invited Los Angeles-based performance ensemble String Theory to turn the riverside corner of Morsani Hall into a working harp with 200-foot strings. This original, site-specific Fin Harp is on display with demonstrations through May 3. Look closely at the design of the newly-installed wooden harp on the river side of Morsani’s... Continue Reading →

FROM THE VAULT: Alice Cooper

March 2, 1990, St. Petersburg Times Proto-typical shock rocker Alice Cooper performed in “Festival Hall” (Morsani) on, ironically, a Sunday. The March 4 show here marked a stop on Cooper’s 1990 comeback tour, the same year a young man the world would know as Marilyn Manson was taking classes at Broward Community College in Fort... Continue Reading →

Lights on Tampa: Nick Cave’s HEARD

This isn’t the “of the Bad Seeds” Nick Cave. This is the performance artist Nick Cave who studied at the Ailey School and later joined the faculty at the Art Institute of Chicago. He now serves that institution as the director of the graduate fashion program. If you haven’t heard of him or had a... Continue Reading →

Cool Facts About Performing Arts: Afrobeat

The journey of rhythm is like water. It is a building block of life, to make and sustain it, and water takes many forms, traveling, growing, changing, and converging with other water sources to create incredible phenomena such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana or Florida’s very own Everglades. In its own way, rhythm works... Continue Reading →

Gender Bender

By David Jenkins, guest blogger Part of life in the performing arts includes the many international scholars who study theater, music and dance, writing on these topics and delving into impressive intellectual inquiry into the art forms and why they matter. One area of interest naturally includes the examination of sexuality and gender identity in... Continue Reading →

The Iron Pachyderm Parade

Quick Circus History, What that has to do with Florida, and We Know Someone Who Lived on the Circus Train Most people in the Tampa Bay area know about our long and intriguing history with the Ringling family of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus fame, but we wager to guess that our connection... Continue Reading →

FROM THE VAULT: Teddy & Alice

December 1987, Americana Magazine In November 1986, the Iran-Contra scandal broke in the Lebanese media, quickly spreading to international headlines. With key players such as Oliver North, Fawn Hall, President Reagan and the Nicaraguan Contras, that drama cast a sour shadow over American politics and government. Needless to say, it was bad timing for a... Continue Reading →

The First To Taste The World

Rarely do we get twins performing together on stage at The Straz, so it is a double (quadruple?) treat to have Will and Anthony stopping by the Jaeb this Saturday for their cabaret show. We thought we'd celebrate this rare occasion with some interesting factoids about twins from around the world. We also threw in... Continue Reading →

A View from the Feet

By guest blogger Carol Cohen, Mother Matryoshka performer for 5 years Among the whip-thin ballerinas performing grand jetés and assemblés in the Russian Imperial ballet of the Nutcracker, loom the rotund, bouncing figures of the Mother Matryoshkas—eight Russian nesting dolls, appearing in descending order of height and girth. The Matryoshkas--meaning “little mother” in Russian--appear on... Continue Reading →

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