“Since coming to the Patel Conservatory in the fall of 2010, the kids that I see now have totally changed their technique. Two years later, [Peter Stark] has brought these kids to a level of expertise on a professional standing,” said Sias.
Sias taught dance for 25 years at Florida State University, and spent six years at Canada's National Ballet School before coming to the Patel Conservatory. He currently teaches Next Generation Ballet (NGB) trainees and partnering classes. Having seen how far the students and the ballet program have come in under two years, Sias sees NGB, and its artistic director Peter Stark, as a cultural asset to the Tampa Bay community.
He said, “I like Peter’s vision of what he’s doing with Next Generation Ballet, training the students for a bigger arena, nationally and internationally...I think Tampa Bay is very fortunate to have him.”
After Saturday's sold-out performance of Swan Lake, Sias’ opinions were confirmed. Here’s what he had to say after the show.
From Richard Sias...
Saturday's Swan Lake performance spoke of how far Peter's vision for the Dance Program at Patel has progressed and developed...fine dancing and equally fine performances! I have always admired Ivonne's [Lemus, co-choreographer] integrity and love for her art and her gifts as a teacher- but for sure, Swan Lake speaks most highly of her sense as a professional, along with her deep commitment to the production's choreography...I believe this is only possible when an artist knows the ballet like her own skin, and in this instance it belongs to her because of her many years as a professional dancer...we are very fortunate to have her, I place her among the finest I know in the ballet art form.
My admiration goes to all of you who were so committed to pulling this production off and obviously, what with the results from ticket sales - it worked!
Congratulations to all.
Click here to read Carrie Seidman's review of Swan Lake in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.