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Dance continues to be important at SPAC
Published: Friday, December 19, 2008
Two recent letters to the editor have compared the recent decision to shorten the New York City Ballet's 2009 SPAC season to the effort by the previous administration in 2004 to eliminate the residency. I believe the comparison is misplaced for several reasons.
The 2004 effort to eliminate the residency would have effectively ended the 40-year partnership between SPAC and the New York City Ballet, one of our founding companies. In contrast, the current decision preserves the ballet's summer residency, and with it the opportunity for SPAC audiences to continue to experience the artistry of one of the world's premier dance companies. It is also important to note that the 2004 decision was made by SPAC's prior president and board without the support of the ballet. Yet the decision to shorten the ballet's 2009 SPAC season was presented by the New York City Ballet and then approved by SPAC's board.
Given the current economic uncertainties, both the ballet and SPAC felt a shorter and less costly season made sense at this time. One benefit of the shorter program will be the opportunity to expand the diversity of SPAC's dance programming. Recognizing this region's rich dance heritage and devoted following, we are committed to adding new dance programming in what would have been the third week of the ballet. Expanding the variety of SPAC's programming in both dance and music is a goal that we have steadily pursued in recent years, and that will continue to be a priority in 2009.
MARCIA J. WHITE
President and Executive Director
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Letter: SPAC needs wake-up call if it is going to fill seats
Saturday, December 20, 2008 5:16 AM EST
My sister recently tried to buy a gift certificate to SPAC for me as a Christmas present, knowing the loss of half-price tickets for memberships and the elimination of other discounts such as entertainment book coupons by SPAC management had forced us to severely curtail our trips to the NYCB and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
What should have been a simple process became an exercise in frustration when the Web site directed her to a phone number that was left unanswered and messages unreturned, and finally a mailing directing her to buy a membership, something I refuse to do until SPAC takes a more realistic approach to their ticket prices.
Finally, in frustration, my sister called Proctors who answered the phone in one ring and were both helpful and gracious in her procurement for a gift certificate. I think SPAC needs a wake up call; their customer service is appalling, their prices are outrageous and I feel the loss of one week of the ballet is only the beginning. I wonder if all the rock show patrons will appreciate the muti-million dollar new paint job. If only that money was used to subsidize ticket prices, the seats might be filled again.