The Angela Floyd Dance Company was honored to have a special guest instructor in the house for a Halloween treat. We are so thankful that AFS Instructor Miss Maya’s father was in town visiting his new grandson and that he took a few hours to share his passion of ballet with our dancers.. We were also thrilled to have Maya’s little sister, Beatriz Catanzaro who also joined the class for the day.
Tony Catanzaro – (Miss Maya’s father)
Tony Catanzaro brings an impressive array of accomplishments to the field of dance. His technical ability, combined with a magnetic and dramatic stage personality has brought him broad recognition, not only in ballet, but in modern dance and musical comedy as well.
Mr. Catanzaro began his dance training in his native New York at the High School of Performing Arts, where he graduated as the Dance Award Recipient. It was here that he was discovered by Norman Walker, his modern dance teacher. Mr. Catanzaro studied and performed with Mr. Walker for eight years, becoming the most impressive years of his career. After receiving a full scholarship with the Harkness Ballet School, he progressed to lead dancer with the Harkness Youth Company. He subsequently joined the Joffrey Ballet, and after three years was asked to join the Boston Ballet in 1973 as a principal dancer. He remained with the Boston Ballet for eleven years performing in many major roles, and being exposed to many of the greatest instructors and choreographers.
Roles created for Mr. Catanzaro while dancing with the Boston Ballet are: The Minataur, Carmin Buranaa, Barabas, Baroque Concerto #4, Jeux de Cartes, Bach with Jacques, Butterflies, Flowering Into New Battles, Goat Dance, Saturday Morning, Messa Brevis Tom Thumb in Sleeping Beauty, and The Estuary. Roles staged for Mr. Catanzaro are: The Prodical Son, Frantz in Copellia, Peruvian in Gaite Parisian, Lead in Scotch Symphony, Phlegmatic in The Four Temperments, Lazarus, The Road of the Phoebe Snow, Persephone, Allegro Brilliante, Pas de Dix, Speed Zone, Summer Space, Winter Branch, Graduation Ball, 12th Street Rags, The Abyss, Neopolitan in Swan Lake, Hilarion in Giselle, and the Gypsy Boy in Don Quixote.
Mr. Catanzaro has also enjoyed dancing Pas de Deux’s such as Tarantella, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Stars and Stripes, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Nutcracker Pas de Deux, Blue Bird, and Tzigane.
Mr. Catanzaro has also performed as a guest artist with the Alabama Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, Florida Ballet, New Haven Ballet, New Mexico Ballet, Tampa Ballet, Dallas Civic Opera, Teatro Massimo in Palemo, Italy, and with many symphonies and modern dance companies. Mr. Catanzaro has danced the lead in the Broadway production of “Annie Get Your Gun” with Ethel Merman, and with the touring company of “Golden Boy” starring Sammy Davis Jr. He appeared in the first English speaking musical to travel to Japan, “West Side Story”, and has made numerous television appearances.
While still maintaining his principal dancer’s status with the Boston Ballet, Mr. Catanzaro began to stage ballets for the company and to coach dancers and rehearse ballets as they were being choreographed. Proving to be successful in these areas, he was chosen to select dancers from throughout the United States and to form the Boston Ballet Ensemble, which replaced the senior company for their summer performances as well as touring throughout New England.
Among Mr. Catanzaro’s choreographed works for the Boston Ballet have been two spirited modern ballets, “Sailin Aweigh,” commissioned especially for Boston’s 1980 Bicentennial Jubilee 350, and “Doing the Duke”, which premiered at the Boston Ballet’s annual Free Performance on the Charles River Esplanade, with music by Duke Ellington. Mr. Catanzaro also directed the Boston Ballet Chamber Company, which consisted of principal dancers from the senior company and served as coach for the 1981 Moscow International Ballet Competition. Mr. Catanzaro then turned his talent, energy and experience towards teaching, coaching and directing in communities with a deep and genuine interest in the dance.
For the past 25 years, Mr. Catanzaro has devoted much of his energy to the Ballet Academy of Miami. Many of his students have been accepted, with scholarships, into the prestigious summer programs sponsored by the major companies in this country. His students have also become members of other highly acclaimed professional companies. Mr. Catanzaro developed the Ballet Theatre of Miami which provided professionally oriented training and meaningful performance experience to highly motivated young people. Ballet Theatre of Miami was an obvious extension of this artistic talent and nurturing. At this time Mr. Catanzaro choreographed “Grand Tarantella”, “Wave Crests”, “Festivo Italiano”, “Vision”, “Summertime”, “Of Women”,” La Favorite”, “Don Carlos” and “Le Cid”. He has also staged “Coppelia”, “La Fille Mal Gardee”, “La Bayadere” and “The Nutcracker”. All of these artistic endeavors, combined with the desire to educate the public in community outreach lectures and demonstrations, have affirmed Mr. Catanzaro’s deep and abiding commitment to the art of dance.
In 1992 Mr. Catanzaro was presented with the Fellowship Award from the Florida Department of State for valuable contribution to the cultural environment of the state.
In 1994 Mr. Catanzaro was appointed Official American Team Coach for the 30th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. In 1994, Mr. Catanzaro was also appointed Artistic Director of Bay Ballet Theatre, in Tampa, Florida. After six months, and receiving critical acclaim for his organizational and artistic skills, the Tampa area was not able to sustain the budgetary needs of a dance company, Mr. Catanzaro returned to Miami where he teaches and coaches dancers, assisting them to fulfill their goals, becoming talented professional dancers.
Lastly, to Mr. Catanzaro’s credit is the staging of ”The Nutcracker” in Medellin, Colombia, which was the first Nutcracker ever to be presented in Colombia in 1995.
In the Summer of 2008 Mr. Catanzaro was guest instructor at Chautauqua Institute, directed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia Mc Bride where he instructed company members of the North Carolina Dance Theatre as well as classes in Variations and Pas de Deux.