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, she shares a deep passion and talent for Spanish/Flamenco and Latin dance. For Nelida, the differences between the two are immense; from the very style of the dances to the origin of their intricate history. Yet, each share a musical equality that reflects on life's personal sentiments of loss, love, death, pain and joy. The comparisons are distinctive, but the personal connection between the two, have led Nelida through 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 Espanoles 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 Compania Maria Pages and Compania Antonio El Pipa, performing at prestigious flamenco festivals and television in Spain such as the Bienal del Arte Flamenco, Festival de Jerez, Festival de Otono, Festival de la Guitarra in Cordoba and the Flamenco Festival USA touring throughout Spain, France, Italy, UK, Germany and Japan.
Flamenco was her life purpose, 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, Compania 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 and most recently was part of "Dance Off the Grid" alongside Ron K.Brown of Evidence, Ephrat Asherie and Sa Dance as part of New York City 2014's Summer Stage music and dance series.