Thursday, March 04, 2010

Midsummer to return to New York City Ballet at SPAC 2010 season.

New York City Ballet returns to SPAC with ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Thursday, March 4, 2010

The New York City Ballet will perform “The Concert” as part of an all-Robbins program at SPAC this summer.
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“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the full-length story ballet, returns to Saratoga this summer, the New York City Ballet and Saratoga Performing Arts Center has announced.

Set to music by Felix Mendelssohn and choreographed in 1964 by City Ballet founder George Balanchine, the ballet retells Shakespeare’s tale of romance, magic and mistaken identity.

“There is no better stage for this woodland fairy tale than SPAC itself, which has the forest, fireflies and moonlight to make this lyrical work come to life,” Marcia J. White, SPAC’s president and executive director, said in a press statement.

The production features elaborate sets and costumes and a cast of more than 100 dancers, including 27 children, and will be performed three times during the first week.

Premieres and classics
City Ballet’s two-week residency at SPAC, which runs July 6-17, includes 16 different ballets, from Saratoga premieres of new works by Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon to George Balanchine classics such as “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and originally commissioned by SPAC in 1975.

The summer program also features Stravinsky Violin Concerto, which Balanchine created as part of the legendary Stravinsky Festival and which was last performed at SPAC in 2004; several popular works by Jerome Robbins including “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz,” “The Concert” and “Red Angels,” a visually dramatic ballet choreographed by Ulysses Dove that was last performed at SPAC in 1998.

The annual ballet gala, on July 10, features Saratoga premieres of two new works commissioned as part of the ballet’s Architecture of Dance — New Choreography and Music Festival. Ratmansky’s new ballet is set to music of Édouard Lalo’s “Namouna,” Christopher Wheeldon’s to Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia.” Wheeldon’s work also features scenic design by internationally acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava, who is designing the new transit hub at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

There are also pre-performance special events planned throughout the season, all free to ticket holders. They include Thursday Date Nights (July 8 and 15) with wine and chocolate tastings, music on the lawn and other attractions for couples; and American Girl Night (July 14), sponsored by Emma Willard School, with tea parties, crafts and giveaways for children.

Fridays (July 9 and 16) offer special events for families, including free ice cream, face painting and workshops presented by NYCB dancers, musicians and teachers.

“One of our highest priorities is to introduce new audiences to the sheer beauty and excitement of New York City Ballet,” White said.

Ticket prices for SPAC’s New York City Ballet performances start at $18 for lawn seats; inside seating ranges from $26-$72.50. The “Kids Free on the Lawn” promotion gives free lawn admission to children 12 and under for classical performances (excluding the American Girl Night, where children’s lawn seats cost $5, and the gala, where there are no discounted lawn tickets).

Order forms for tickets to New York City Ballet’s SPAC season are available on SPAC’s Web site at or by contacting SPAC at 518.584.9330.

The full schedule follows:

July 6, 8 p.m.

All American program with: “Fancy Free” (Bernstein/Robbins), “Red Angels” (Einhorn/Dove), Barber Violin Concerto (Barber/Martins), “Who Cares?” (Gershwin/Balanchine)

July 7, 8 p.m.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Mendelssohn/Balanchine)

July 8 (Matinee), 2 p.m.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Mendelssohn/Balanchine)

July 8, 8 p.m.

“La Source” (Delibes/Balanchine), “Fancy Free” (Bernstein/Robbins), “Who Cares?” (Gershwin/Balanchine)

July 9, 8 p.m.

Mixed Rep program: Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart/Balanchine), “Red Angels” (Einhorn/Dove), Barber Violin Concerto (Barber/Martins), “Fancy Free” (Bernstein/Robbins)

July 10 (Matinee), 2 p.m.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Mendelssohn/Balanchine)

July 10, 8 p.m.

Ballet Gala — Saratoga Premieres: New Ratmansky Ballet (Lalo/Ratmansky), New Wheeldon Ballet (Ginastera/Wheeldon)

Fireworks after the performance

July 13, 8 p.m.

All Robbins program: “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz” (Prince/Robbins), “In the Night” (Chopin/Robbins), “The Concert” (Chopin/Robbins)

July 14, 8 p.m.

Emma Willard American Girl Night: “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” (Bizet/Balanchine), “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” (Gounod/Balanchine), New Ratmansky Ballet (Lalo/Ratmansky)

July 15 (Matinee), 2 p.m..

Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart/Balanchine), “Red Angels” (Einhorn/Dove), Barber Violin Concerto (Barber/Martins), New Wheeldon Ballet (Ginastera/Wheeldon)

July 15, 8 p.m.

“La Source” (Delibes/Balanchine), “After the Rain” (Pärt/Wheeldon), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Stravinsky/Balanchine)

July 16, 8 p.m.

All Robbins program: “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz” (Prince/Robbins), “In the Night” (Chopin/Robbins), “The Concert” (Chopin/Robbins)

July 17 (Matinee), 2 p.m.

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier” (Bizet/Balanchine), “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” (Gounod/Balanchine), “After the Rain” (Pärt/Wheeldon), Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Stravinsky/Balanchine)

July 17, 8 p.m.

All Balanchine program: “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” (Gounod/Balanchine), Stravinsky Violin Concerto, (Stravinsky/Balanchine), Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart/Balanchine)

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