Reviews

"The members of New York Theater Ballet gave gracious, down-to-earth performances at the second of three Sunday matinees, with an unforced charm exemplified by the leading couple: Elena Zahlmann as Cinderella, and Steven Melendez as the Prince...Between looking for and losing each other amid the whirlwind of guests, Ms. Zahlmann and Mr. Melendez made an elegant pair." -The New York Times - March 3, 2014 - "Fairytale Ballet Tailored for Short Attention Spans"   "Mr. Melendez is a strong dancer as well as an excellent partner, Ms. Ogura exhibiting complete trust in him which resulted in wonderful chemistry between the two. That chemistry developed into an intimate conversation spoken in a language of motion." -NYCDanceStuff - June 25, 2013 - "Of Dark Elegies and Short Memories"   “The Nutcracker” is chiefly a ballet for women, but there have certainly been other men of note this season... Steven Melendez (in the double role of Doctor Stahlbaum and the Sugar Plum cavalier) [was an] exemplars of the way good manners and classical grace can turn seemingly formulaic roles into expressions of humanity at its most touchingly chivalrous. -The New York Times - December 11, 2012 - "New Men of 'Nutcracker' Papajohn, Tilton and Melendez"   "Richard Alston’s “A Rugged Flourish,” commissioned by NYTB in 2011 and set to Aaron Copeland’s 1930 “Piano Variations” is a formal essay for Melendez and six women, one of whom (Ogura) becomes his pas de deux partner.  The six women on toe wear bright, spring-like colors (Taalsohn Nolan’s costumes again), and flurry about in tidy patterns.  “Flourish” is youthful and pleasant, and with his technically crispness, serene presence, and unmannered performance, Melendez proves himself again to be the cream of the crop." -Solomons Says - April, 2013 "New York Theatre Ballet"   "Rie Ogura and Steven Melendez, who performed the Alston with simultaneous force and precision, fall into each other with grace, a natural force aided by the mechanics of gravity and the human body stayed by the imagination of desire." -CityArts - April 25, 2013 - "Keeping Ballet Honest"   "While all the dancers were lovely to watch, one’s eye could not help but stray to Steven Melendez in several of the dances. His is a commanding presence. I predict a great future for him." -Art Times Journal - April, 2012 "Dance: Make Room For The New But Keep The Old!"   "Of the three new works, Richard Alston’s “Rugged Flourish” (2011), scheduled last, was the most accomplished and absorbing. The suggestion of faun and nymphs in its setup of one man (the wonderfully expansive Steven Melendez) among six women is only one of several connections between this dance and “Septet.”..." -The New York Times - March 12, 2012 "Nymphs, a Moor and Lovers Roam About"   "Steven Melendez ... who I had previously seen with C Eule Dance, gave a very impressive rendering of The Moor. Tall, with finely proportioned limbs, Steven moved with masculine grace; his striking facial features and beautifully expressive hands kept my eyes glued to him throughout. It was a great pleasure to see this young dancer giving such an assured and emotionally nuanced performance. Elena Zahlmann was the lovely Desdemona; Philip King and Rie Ogura were very fine as Iago and Emilia. MOOR'S PAVANE again proved itself one of the most satisfying of danceworks." -Oberons Grove - March, 2012 - "Steven Melendez in The Moor's Pavane"   "When Melendez, as the Prince, first spots Zahlmann, as the tender Cinderella, the spark between the two reads to the back of the house. They are not acting, they are becoming... And indeed, the Prince is dashing thanks to Melendez who has developed into a fine dancer. (Just months ago, I saw him depict the troubled Moor in Jose Limon’s signature “The Moor’s Pavane” with moving depth and passion.) At first, he looks awkward with the Stepsisters who paw and pull at him. But in his pas de deux with Zahlmann, one can see Melendez at his best. Tender, but with zeal, he literally sweeps the delicate Cinderella off of her feet. Their love, as witnessed by their performance, is true." -Daily Gazette - January 29, 2012 - "NY Theatre Ballet Blossoms"   "A faunlike boy (the softly riveting, adolescent-looking Steven Melendez), after dancing alone, meets six nymphs and has an extended dance duet with one (Rie Ogura), before allowing the six to dance together and then becoming one of their number in the finale... The finest dances are for Mr. Melendez, alone and with Ms. Ogura. The opening solo has really marvelous self-contradictions and explorations: Mr. Melendez faces one way and jumps the other or advances in a new direction while looking behind, and the mixture of impulsiveness and reflectiveness is compelling. The duet has a tension that is half competitive, half getting-to-know-you: warily, they present each other with dance material that keeps extending them as personalities." -The New York Times - May 15, 2011 - "A Rugged Flourish" World Premiere   “Standing out amongst the performers was the dynamic Steven Melendez...His presence is strong, and his technique clean and precise with beautiful ballon - a dancer to watch as he has the potential for a distinguished and varied career.” -Attitude The Dancers' Magazine, 2010   “I’d purposely not studied the dancers’ names or pictures before sitting down, and I particularly did not pay attention to the notes about the guest artist. I was drawn in particular to one young man whose dancing was both intelligent and fervent, not to mention funny in the Mattachins section of Capriol Suite. His solo in the Mazurkas, in its back and forth of self wrestling and noble fire proved mesmerizing and moving. Well, it turns out he was the artist I had tried not to know, namely Steven Melendez... And while I don’t mean just to single him out solely – there was an awful lot of happiness and intelligence danced on that stage – he distilled it all in his dancing. ” -Life Upon the Sacred Stage, 2010 “Jose Limon's 1958 Suite from Mazurkas... features a group of dancers dancing stylized mazurkas in solos, twos, threes, and finally together, led by a single man (Steven Melendez) who has an introspective, haunting solo, where he reverently touches the ground. ” -Danceviewtimes, 2010

"Although not arriving until the second act Steven Melendez dances the lead male role with virtuosity. The young man is brash and forceful, but nevertheless a nice lover whose passion does not impact the sweet story.” - Translated from Teater/Muusika/Kino, 2009   “Steven Melendez was a particularly animated Devil, capering through his occasional bursts of virtuosity nimbly, despite his dangerously long tail.” -Danceviewtimes, 2006

ABC News, Good Morning America - Aug. 31, 2004

“A truly fairy-tale prince, six feet tall, broad-shouldered, courtly and serene, Mr. Melendez dances with power and sweetness; his lifts look effortless, his jumps are airy yet controlled, and he blows a kiss to each Flower as if he sees her particular grace.” - The New York Times - Dec. 14, 2003 - A Truly Fairy-Tale Prince

“Sallie Wilson staged the opening sequences of the Peasant Pas de Deux from "Giselle" for Christina Paolucci and Steven Melendez, who bounded lightly through the duet's allegros and were lyrical in its adagio.” - The New York Times, 2003 Jack Anderson

  “Melendez… had a plie so soft and a jump so high that he took everybody's breath away.” - The Dance Insider, 2000