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Gaspar reclaims place on Straz stage

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  • | 2:05 p.m. May 7, 2010
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In 1994, Tampa's Bay Ballet Theatre staged a performance of “Gaspar — A Pirate Fantasy,” based on the legend of Gulf Coast pirate Jose Gaspar. It might have become an annual tradition joining the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion but for the fact that the ballet folded shortly thereafter.

Now the dance will resume with next year's “invasion.” Tickets are on sale for the Jan. 30, 2011, performance of “Gaspar” at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa, the day after pirates and revelers take over the city.

Christopher Fleming, former artistic director of the Bay Ballet Theatre and the original writer, director and choreographer of “Gaspar,” is set to return for the planned performance, as is Dr. David Goldstein, the Tampa cardiologist who composed the original score on a computer. (Don't scoff, music fans: “The Phantom of the Opera” is still popular despite all those 1980s synthesizers.)

A cast of 55 dancers from the Patel Conservatory will also be involved, as will principal dancers from New York and Philadelphia. Furthermore, various members of the Tampa Bay business community will be in costume on stage, including Richard Sanchez, president and CEO of Clearwater-based Advantica (as well as the Business Review's 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year) and his wife Sharon, a former ballerina.

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