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 →

Twerk from Home

The seductive, titillating, sexy and sassy dance show first jumped out of the proverbial birthday cake nearly 30 years ago and three decades later it’s still bringing allure to stages from coast to coast. After more than a year cooling off, the heat will once again turn when Broadway Bares brings some virtual virility to... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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