Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 02.25.10

Posted February 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Toronto ballet star gets a hometown welcome
Michael Shelton hosted a welcome-home party last week for Dance — The Next Generation (DNG) alum Bridgett Zehr and her partner and boyfriend, Zdenek Konvalina.

Shelton’s Bird Key home was packed Thursday night, despite the fact that almost everyone in the house was a former (or current) Sarasota Ballet dancer or teacher, and thus extraordinarily petite. The gang included retired ballerinas Kathryn Dandois-Boivin and Diane Partington, current principal dancers Victoria Hulland and Kate Walsh Honea (on crutches!), past president Jerome Goldstein and Zehr’s childhood teachers, Pavel Fomin and Jennifer Gemmeke. Even visiting choreographer Dominic Walsh, artistic director of Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, in Houston, was there, hobnobbing with Robert de Warren and Iain Webb.

Zehr, 25, was only slightly overwhelmed, and Konvalina, a native of the Czech Republic, was just relieved it wasn’t his first trip in Sarasota.

“Otherwise, I’d be very intimidated,” he laughed.

Zehr and Konvalina, who are both principal dancers with The National Ballet of Canada, performed Christopher Wheeldon’s “Prokofiev Pas de Deux” last week in a special guest appearance with the Sarasota Ballet.


+ Sarasota music school rocks onward and upward
Has anyone else wondered what happened to the kids’ garage band music school on Orange Avenue in Gillespie Park?

Back in July, an incredibly gung-ho Julio Madrid, a salesman at The Met on St. Armands Circle, opened Let’s Rock Sarasota in a 6,000-square-foot warehouse near Sarasota Military Academy. He pulled together a faculty with ties to The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and Eddie Van Halen, but then vacated the space a couple of months later.

Well, The Observer is pleased to report that after running into Madrid recently at a surprise birthday party for Sarasota photog Peter Acker, we learned that Let’s Rock Sarasota has moved to Bahia Vista Street, above SRQ Dance (formerly Flex Dance Studios).

According to Madrid, enrollment is up and the school now includes a summer-camp program and two vocal coaches.

+ The Fine Arts Society savors a taste of s/ART/q
The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota is made up of exciting young-blooded art-lovers because of the inclusion of s/ART/q artists David Piurek, Tim Jaeger and Joseph Patrick Arnegger on its annual Creators & Collectors Tour.

If you’ve not heard of the Creators & Collectors Tour, you’re not alone. For 39 years, the Fine Arts Society has quietly hosted a self-guided driving tour of Sarasota artists’ studios and homes. For $20 and two days, local art collectors tool around town invading artists’ sanctuaries for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at where Sarasota’s creative class lives and work.

Piurek, Jaeger and Arnegger will join sculptor and fellow Ringling College alum Scott Moore and landscape painter Susan Klein on the “New” Old Masters Tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 12 and March 13, in Sarasota.

Arnegger, who lives in his studio off Central Avenue, has politely been asked to find a dog sitter for his enormous English mastiff, Bess. Apparently not all art-lovers are dog-lovers.





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