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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New York City Ballet a must-see at Saratoga Performing Arts Center

The news that the New York City Ballet’s 2013 residency at theSaratoga Performing Arts Center will be only one week long (five days, really, with seven performances) is a bit disconcerting -- but not surprising.
NYCB hasn’t done enough to reduce its own costs, and the cost to SPAC isn’t adequately covered by corporate sponsors or individual patrons. SPAC is spending about $2 million to bring the ballet to Saratoga, losing about $1.1 million in the process. That’s an expense SPAC cannot afford to sustain.
Who cares?
I do. You should, too.
The classical arts at SPAC are integral to the prestige and cachet of the entire Saratoga region. They help set SPAC apart from venues on the rock concert circuit.
SPAC’s leaders say they’ve been beating the bushes for sponsors. And they’ve certainly being trying to promote a night at SPAC to appeal to singles, couples and families.
I don’t know a tutu from a three-three. But I know enough to go see world-class dance and music when they come to SPAC. I sit on the lawn more often than in the amphitheater, and there is no better buy for twenty-two bucks ($15 for matinees). I can attest from my times inside that the experience is richer in the closer, semi-enclosed seats. In the theater or under the stars, the only mistake people make is not going, at least once – and bringing kids along (under 12 are free on the lawn; older students are just $10.)
My calendar is already marked for this year’s season, which starts Tuesday. Among the performances I hope to see is the Romeo + Juliet by Peter Martins. Hope to see you there.

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