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Review: Summer Fantasy

The Patel Conservatory and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts recently presented Summer Fantasy, a wonderful dance showcase.

The show featured the 2015 Summer Intensive Program Students and the Next Generation Ballet. These young talented dancers came to train in Tampa from more than fourteen cities in United States and Puerto Rico. Following auditions and an invitation to train with amazing  master teachers.

Philip Neal former Principal Dancer with  New York City Ballet is the new Chairman of the the Patel Conservatory Dance Department and Artistic Director of Next Generation Ballet. He warmly welcomed the audience and presented the exciting celebration of different dance styles. The show was about a dynamic merge of contemporary, Jazz, musical theater and beloved classical ballet.
The first act started with contemporary  dance genre, Shades by V. Kelly King, the former Rocket showcased the students mastery of expression, versatility and mind and body connections thru exuberant leaps and movements. They dance to the fun beats of ” Crazy in love” by Beyonce, “How it ends” by Devotchka. It was moving and Beautiful.
Jazz, was a very refreshing piece, Grand Avenue Blues, choreographed by Philip Neal. The students performed steps from ballet on point shoes and combine it with jazz dance steps. It brought a whimsical balanced  between strength and skill,  as well as movement of the body with rhythmical accuracy.
A tour thru Broadway history was offered by Musical Theater Choreographer, Susan Downey. It opened with 5,6,7,8…  followed by “Cabaret”, from Cabaret, “Can Can” from Mouling Rouge, “You can’t stop the beat” from Hair Spray and other broadway favorites of all time. The bright color costumes, chairs and rolling racks created a glorious atmosphere where the full cast and the audience connected joyfully singing and dancing.
The second act was dedicated to the Ballet dance form, the foundation for all formal dance training. The students performed delightful pieces from famous classical ballet.  Excerpts from Giselle, choreography by Ivonne Lemus and Brandon Ragland, presented  a lovely “Waltz of the Grapes”, from Le Corsaire suite, choreography by  Philip Neal and Laurie Jones, Emily Bromberg and Brandon Ragland,  selections from Le garden Anime. And the show culminated with Excerpts from Paquita,  “Finale” choreographed by Giselle Guillen, Emely  Bromberg and Andrew Carroll.
The high quality ballet performances mention above were unforgettable and well structured. They were all very graceful and precise ballet dances. The students demonstrated tremendous ability and portrayed each classical story line and the characters beautifully. This  fantastic collaboration reflected the expertise of each one of the Choreographers, their background as professional dancers and the powerful diversity of the school.  The students bonded thru passion and hard work  in a variety of energetic, and skillful and fun dance numbers. This incredible opportunity  to learn more classical ballet, dance history, techniques, skills and different styles of dance. It helped the young artists ages 10 to 19 to grow technically, physically and social-emotionally and prepared for their future endeavors. They looked sharp together. The audience was blown away by how much the students learned  in only five weeks.

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