A Ballet Hidden Treasure in Tampa

A two-act ballet that is sure to shiver ye timbers takes the stage in the Tampa Bay area this January! Choreographed and written by former New York City Ballet dancer Christopher Fleming, Gaspar – A Pirate Fantasy is a swashbuckling ballet based off the life of legendary pirate José Gaspar. On January 30th at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the pirate ballet is returning to Tampa Bay after a 16-year absence as part of the area’s Gasparilla Festival—a celebration in honor of Gaspar.

 

“The ballet is unique to the Tampa Bay area,” Fleming explains. The original score is by Tampa Bay’s own David Goldstein, M.D., and the corps de ballet will consist of young dancers from the area, including students from the Patel Conservatory and Gibbs High School. Fleming has been teaching master classes around Tampa Bay and holding auditions after class for the production. “The talent here is great,” Fleming says. For the principal and solo roles, Fleming has cast professional dancers from the newly-formed Ballet Fleming Dance Company, which is based in Philadelphia at Fleming’s new Philadelphia Ballet School. On top of the dancing, the ballet’s battle scenes will be augmented by a Tampa Bay pirate theatrical troupe, so, as Fleming says, “it’s not just a bunch of ballet guys fighting.”

 

All proceeds from the ballet will go to local non-profits including the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Florida Chapter of Operation Homefront, as well as Drew’s Shoes, a charity dedicated to providing dance shoes for underprivileged children.

Latest Posts


Pacific Northwest Ballet's Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, photographed by Jayme Thornton for Pointe

The Radiant Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan: Why She's One to Watch at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Hollywood could make a movie about Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan's big break at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

It was November 2017, and the company was performing Crystal Pite's film-noir–inspired Plot Point, set to music by Bernard Hermann from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Ryan, then a first-year corps member, originally was understudying the role of another dancer. But when principal Noelani Pantastico was injured in a car accident, Ryan was tapped to take over her role.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Elliot deBruyn, Courtesy BalletX

Don’t Miss These Virtual World Premieres Happening in March

As the ballet world pushes into spring, companies across the country are adapting to the pandemic by premiering new digital works, wrapping up virtual seasons and engaging in artistic collaborations. Here are a few of the world-premiere digital programs on tap this month.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Dancing in a Mask? 6 Products to Keep Maskne at Bay

Wearing a mask while dancing in exchange for finally getting back into the studio seems like a small price to pay—though it doesn't make maskne any less pesky.

But the irritation and acne caused by sweating in a mask doesn't have to be part of the equation. To clear up breakouts and prevent new ones from popping up post-rehearsal, Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology, explains the importance of a strong (but simple) skin-care routine.

"Masks cause heat, friction and occlusion on the skin," says Levin, who trained in ballet through her teenage years. Combine that with the sweat that gets trapped by your mask and you've got the perfect environment for clogged pores and bacteria overgrowth. Levin notes that the best approach for clear skin is to consistently use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night, followed by a lightweight moisturizer, and a topical cream with an active ingredient to treat and prevent breakouts.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks