Hailed “magnificent” and "utterly compelling" by The New York Times, Nelida Tirado has been recognized around the globe for her intense grace and powerful style. As one of the most dynamic dancers, Nelida embodies the passion of Flamenco and Latin dance, alighting stages around the world with her depth and virtuosity.
The differences and origins of, Flamenco and Latin dance is figuratively and literally an ocean apart. Yet, they both reflect the histories of conquest and displacement: Flamenco's birth sprang from mixtures and exodus of Moorish, Jewish and Roma/Gypsy cultures of the Iberian Peninsula; of colonization and slavery, Latin dance/music sprang from the mixture and exodus of latin immigrants from their Caribbean islands to NYC. The music and the dance were the voice of these oppressed communities.The"rebellious disobedience" necessary to affirm their existence. Nelida's artistic vision is informed by these narratives of anguish and survival, love and loss, beauty and pain, life and death. While Flamenco and Latin dance are singular and distinctive as separate music and movement forms, Nelida's relationship to both affirms not only her identity but also resonates in her style, contributing to one of the most exhilarating and successful dance careers.
Nelida was exposed to music and dance at an early age. She began her formal training in classical ballet, graham technique and Spanish dance at Ballet Hispanico of New York at the age of six, later forming part of their apprentice company. Barely out of her teens, she was invited to tour the U.S. with Jose Molina Bailes Españoles and work as a soloist in Carlota Santana’s Flamenco Vivo. Her desire to continue learning led her to Spain where she became soloist/ dance captain with of Compañia Maria Pages and Compañia Antonio El Pipa, performing at prestigious flamenco festivals and television in Spain such as the Bienal del Arte Flamenco, Festival de Jerez, Festival de Otoño, Festival de la Guitarra in Cordoba and the Flamenco Festival USA touring throughout Spain, France, Italy, UK, Germany and Japan.
Flamenco defined her artistic purpose and professional calling but Latin dance had always been part of her Puerto Rican roots, family and cultural traditions. It wasn't until she started simultaneously teaching at a local Boys and Girls Club in New York and became enamored with a Latin dance class being held next door. She'd never seen this dance at such a technical level. She'd drop in on occasion for the last few minutes of class and was immediately noticed for her natural ability. She was then invited at the early age of 16 years old to perform at the Apollo Theater in tribute to Miriam Makeba with Latin legend Tito Puente. Although Latin dance would remain as one of Nelida's true passions for many personal and cultural reasons, she focused her career on flamenco.
Since returning to the U.S., her accomplishments top the charts with notable performances in the highly acclaimed Broadway production of "Riverdance" as solo flamenco dancer, she has performed and toured in World Music Institute’s “Gypsy Caravan I ”, Franco Zeferelli's "Carmen" with the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center and Jacob's Pillow and Noche Flamenca . She led the opening act with her ensemble for the Buena Vista Social Club featuring Omara Portoundo at the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, produced concerts in Symphony Space, Joyce Soho, Queens Theater in the Park and represented as a solo artist, Compañia Maria Pages in The Aichi Expo in Japan. She has collaborated with some of the greatest musicians and artists for her performances in "Amores Quebrados" with Suite Hispania at the Repertorio Espanol. In 2011 and 2012, she performed in the "Dance Under the Influence" series in collaboration with the Flamenco Festival USA, as well as "Dance Off the Grid" series at the Emellin Theater. She collaborated with Jazz's great Wynton Marsalis for a special performance at Harvard University and participated in E-MOVES 8,9 and 12 choreography showcase at HarlemStage as well as being featured soloist in the Mexican sensation "Jarocho touring Mexico and China.
While always remaining connected to her Latin roots throughout her dance career, Nelida performed in an exclusive show for President Bush at the Ford Theater in Washington D.C. and has performed with numerous latin icons such as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Tito Nieves, Tony Vega, Jose Alberto, Santitos Colon, Ismael Miranda, and The Mambo Legends Orchestra for special performances, concerts; in the New Jersey Nets Stadium for half time show in honor of Goya's 75th Anniversary, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, and throughout Colombia with Tito Puente's 100th album tour. She was featured in Orquesta de La Luz's "Somos Diferente" video, and Chris Rock's television show "Totally Biased". She performed in the Nike Play-Off Festivals, the Copabana Congress, the UK, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Miami, New York and Boston Congresses.
Nelida has been featured in The New York Times for numerous performances, The New Yorker, The Star Ledger and selected as one of Dance Magazine's "25 To Watch". She received the BRIO award twice from the Bronx Council of the Arts for artistic excellence was a three time recipient of the Tito Puente Scholarship.
She currently resides in NYC, performing and teaching. She most recently premiered her solo show "Dime Quien Soy" show to a sold out audience presented by Joe's Pub in collaboration with the Flamenco Festival NY,was part of Summerstage' "Dance Off the Grid" Series 2014 alongside Ron K.Brown of Evidence, Ephrat Asherie and Sa Dance as part ,and BAAD!'s 2016 presentation of her solo show "Dime Quien Soy", recipient of the "Rosario Dawson Muse Fellow" through BAAD!, recipient of 2018/2019 Gibney's Dance in Process Residence and will be seen in Warner Brother's film adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda's "In The Heights" premiering Summer 2021.