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Next Generation Ballet Summer Fantasy


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:24 PM

I went to Next Generation Ballet's culminating dance show after its summer intensive. It was called Summer Fantasy and included both modern dance pieces and classical ballet.

Peter Stark is the artistic director of this fairly new school and ballet company. Tonight's show featured approx. 150 advanced pre-professional students as well as Jeffrey Cirio of Boston Ballet and Dylan G-Bowley of Ballet Memphis. Lia Cirio of Boston Ballet was supposed to dance also, but Stark said she had a mild sprain. Hannah Beach, who is studying with the Royal Ballet and going into her graduate year substituted in the Don Quixote PDD for Lia Cirio.

Using recordings it was a good mix of modern and classical ballet. The first half featured some student choreography that showed a lot of promise. Then, came a Raymonda suite in which solos traded off with corps pieces. Some of the Petipa choreography was changed b/c, for example, a duet was created based on one of Raymonda's friend's variation.

It was fun to see various levels of students dancing in this Raymonda suite, although it seemed rather ambitious. I guess if you have 150 dancers at your disposal you might as well try to do excerpts from Raymonda! LOL Olivia Gusti did the clapping Hungarian variation and was rather amazing for a 13 year old!

There were many fun moments watching the young dancers give their all even if there were minor mishaps (one girl fell off pointe, the 4 men in the Raymonda variation were not in synch most of the time, etc). Overall, the energy and promising talent made the evening for me.

Jeffrey Cirio is the 21 year old principal dancer with Boston Ballet (his bio says he was recently promoted even though the Boston Ballet website lists him as a soloist), and his dancing tonight showed why he is already a principal. There is a polish to his dancing that many of these younger dancers might get in time. He was simply fabulous in both a very modern "Slide to Dance" piece (choreography by Dylan G. Bowley) and in the Don Quixote Pas de deux. He is obviously at home in both ultra modern and classical dance. I have seen him a couple of times before dancing at these types of events, and he is thrilling. Whether he was doing cabrioles, barrel turns, grand jetes, or using his arms to convey a Spanish man (he looks Asian, by the way) he is always fun to watch. He exudes confidence. His sister is normally excellent too, but she did not dance, although I saw her talking on her cell phone in very high shoes outside the theatre when I first arrived. I guess even with a sprain dancers used to being on pointe find high heels easy! LOL

Hannah Beach was a great replacement for Lia Cirio. She is studying at the Royal Ballet and showed off some nice balances and hops on pointe. To my eyes she didn't look quite as smooth and polished as Jeffrey Cirio or even his sister (when I have seen her), but she is not far behind. She is going to be a great dancer.

I was hesitant to go to this, b/c I am not that much into modern pieces and wasn't sure if I would like a night of mostly students, but it was quite enjoyable. Even the modern pieces were enjoyable, although I think modern choreography is relying too heavily on athletic moves instead of elegance and too many 6 o'clock legs! LOL The problem with a lot of modern choreography is that they will intentionally fall out of a pose or move for an effect, but since the choreography is new you aren't sure at first if it is a mistake or part of the choreography. Oh, well.....I guess modern dance is better than no dance, but give my Paquita or Raymonda anyday over modern dance.

#2 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 04:39 PM

I remember Peter Stark as a reliable, intelligent, attractive corps member of NYCB. I'd like to hear how you think he is doing with his company, and where this company is located. Has he done any choreography?

#3 bingham

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:23 PM


Jeffrey Cirio is Filipino-American.

#4 Birdsall

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:24 AM

Jeffrey Cirio is Filipino-American.


Thanks, Bingham! I did not know that.

#5 Birdsall

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 07:29 AM

I remember Peter Stark as a reliable, intelligent, attractive corps member of NYCB. I'd like to hear how you think he is doing with his company, and where this company is located. Has he done any choreography?


He is now in Tampa, Florida, and he is the Artistic Director of Next Generation Ballet. Tampa has been trying to start up a ballet or audience for dance and for various reasons it never happened. I think Peter Stark was teaching in Orlando for Orlando Ballet and had a reputation of young dancers moving to be taught by him and many followed him to Tampa, when he moved there.

This ballet company which is a pre-professional ballet company has probably only been around for 3 years or less. He already has staged Nutcracker, Midsummer Night's Dream, Swan Lake. These are done to recordings (not live orchestra), and he hires professional dancers in lead roles but uses all his students in all of the other roles.

Here is info from the website:


About Next Generation Ballet

Directed by Peter Stark[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3]
Next Generation Ballet (NGB) is a stepping stone for great dance talent and is a part of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Under the direction of Peter Stark, NGB prepares dancers for professional employment through instruction, coaching and performance opportunities. The company is committed to the artistic, personal and professional development of outstanding young dancers. Performers in NGB have been awarded scholarship opportunities at the leading ballet schools worldwide including the Royal Ballet School of England and The School of American Ballet. Students have also received employment with ballet companies including Missouri Ballet and National Ballet of Canada, and have placed 1st in competitions including Youth America Grand Prix and the World Ballet Competition.[/size][/font]


#6 its the mom

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:35 PM

Actually, the injury for Cirio was a strained posterior tibial tendon. She actually could have performed by the end of the week, but thought it best not to, as Boston's season starts tomorrow. She suggested Hannah Beach do the part, and helped to coach her in just a few days.

Stark is a wonderful teacher and coach, and, in addition, has a very good staff to support him. His former students are very dedicated to him, and return whenever they can to work with him.

#7 Birdsall

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:41 PM

Actually, the injury for Cirio was a strained posterior tibial tendon. She actually could have performed by the end of the week, but thought it best not to, as Boston's season starts tomorrow. She suggested Hannah Beach do the part, and helped to coach her in just a few days.

Stark is a wonderful teacher and coach, and, in addition, has a very good staff to support him. His former students are very dedicated to him, and return whenever they can to work with him.


That is great that Lia Cirio wanted to give a young dancer a chance to sparkle.

I have read what you say about Peter Stark, and I am glad that Tampa finally has a ballet company. I believe Judith Lisi (who also spearheaded Opera Tampa) has been trying to get a ballet company for a long time. Unfortunately, it happened after I moved away. LOL I will come down to see shows whenever I can.

B. Birdsall


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