With pandemic restrictions easing in New York, the New York City Ballet (NYCB) announces that it will be presenting programs on a smaller scale at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) this coming summer. The programs will feature excerpts from past seasons and will be performed by a company of 15 dancers. The performers will be accompanied by piano during on and off stage presentations.
With the local government’s concern still present because of COVID-19, NYCB and SPAC assure that the summer performances will follow protocols and the audience will be socially distanced. The full company of NYCB will not return until July 12-16, 2022. Despite not having all of its members on stage for the upcoming show, NYCB dancers and musicians are honored to present an intimate performance on one of the most well-loved forms of art in the world.
The comeback will showcase six shows in total from July 14-17, coming in two forms. The first is the “All Balanchine,” highlighting the repertory of founding choreographer George Balanchine with the excerpts of the works of Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Agon, Jewels, and Who Cares? The second part features “Short Stories,” which explores the narrative ballets including Firebird, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Western Symphony, Fancy Free, and The Concert. The shows will be hosted by renowned principal dancers from NYCB.
SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol shared, “Bringing this group of incomparable artists from New York City Ballet back to SPAC for this intimate presentation marks an emotional and historic moment for us and our community. Not only are we thrilled to once again see live dance on our stage, but we also have the opportunity to experience highlights from the company’s repertory in a completely fresh and new way for the first time in our 55 years together.”
Sobol also shared how SPAC is preparing its facilities to ensure that both the performers and the audience remain safe. That being said, SPAC collaborated with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ensure that health and safety procedures are followed. The show will also comply with the state’s requirement to have all attendees show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show.
“Bringing this new format to SPAC for 2021 ensures that we will be able to effectively create a safe environment for all. We are grateful to the company for their collaboration and work with us to ensure that City Ballet could have a presence in Saratoga this summer,” Sobol said further.
“All Balanchine” and the “Short Stories” will last approximately 75 minutes with no intermissions in between. Cast members are yet to be determined and will be announced by SPAC at a later date. Tickets will be available earlier for SPAC members on May 3. Audiences may opt to purchase a designated pod for two in the amphitheater or pods of two and four at the SPAC lawn. For additional information about the shows, visit spac.org.
With SPAC being the first to reopen its doors for NYCB, other performance venues also told Times Union that they are considering hosting shows in the late summer or in the fall of 2022.