Parlay legend into ballet with 'Gaspar: A Pirate Fantasy'

Alex Crozier-Jackson and Adrianna de Svastich dance the lead roles in Gaspar: A Pirate Fantasy. 

Paul Pelak Photography

Alex Crozier-Jackson and Adrianna de Svastich dance the lead roles in Gaspar: A Pirate Fantasy. 

Gaspar: A Pirate Fantasy returns for Gasparilla, with two performances this weekend. The buccaneer ballet, with choreography by Christopher Fleming and music by David Goldstein, is, of course, based on the legend of Jose Gaspar, who supposedly pillaged the West Coast of Florida.

Alex Crozier-Jackson plays Gaspar, as he did last year, but he has a new leading lady, Adrianna de Svastich, in the role of Christina. Both are members of Ballet Fleming, the choreographer's company in Philadelphia. Fleming's Tampa Bay ties go back to the 1990s, when he was artistic director of the now-defunct Bay Ballet Theatre, which first staged Gaspar.

Proceeds go to three bay area nonprofit organizations; last year's production raised more than $60,000. Performances are at 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday at Ferguson Hall of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. $19-$39, with $10 tickets for children 12 and under. (813) 229-7827; strazcenter.org.

Two more dance performances are on the agenda this weekend:

Moving Current modern dance collective opens its 14th season with a mixed program that includes works by the three artistic directors, Erin Cardinal, Cindy Hennessy and Shelley Bourgeois. Guest choreographer George Staib, artistic director of Atlanta-based Staibdance and dance faculty member at Emory University, contributes Lullaby, a work for seven dancers that "looks at the dynamics between a man and a woman who can no longer coexist, and rather have come to expect and almost savor conflict," a press release says. Orange Grove Dance, founded by a pair of Floridians in New York, Matt Reeves and Colette Krogol, is also on the program. Shows are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at USF Theater 1 on the Tampa campus. $11-$16. (813) 237-0216; movingcurrent.com.

• The men of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo are back. They do Swan Lake, Paquita, The Dying Swan and other classic repertory with hilarious virtuosity. "The comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents and underlying incongruities of serious dance," says the company's website. "The fact that men dance all the parts — heavy bodies delicately balancing on toes as swans, sylphs, water sprites, romantic princesses, angst-ridden Victorian ladies — enhances rather than mocks the spirit of dance as an art form, delighting and amusing the most knowledgeable, as well as novices, in the audiences." The Trocks perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $35-$50. (727) 791-7400; rutheckerdhall.com.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

Parlay legend into ballet with 'Gaspar: A Pirate Fantasy' 01/25/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 3:30am]

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