SPAC announces updates, schedule at annual meeting

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SARATOGA SPRINGS – At its annual meeting on June 17, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) reflected upon the challenges and opportunities presented by 2020 and looked ahead to its reopening in 2021. Following a year of a shuttered amphitheater stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SPAC will welcome back all three resident companies – New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center — in addition to hosting its iconic Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, a popular concert lineup presented by Live Nation, the return of Caffè Lena @ SPAC, and a special evening dedicated to Health Care Workers.  

SPAC also announced several updates.

Facility Improvements

In 2020, SPAC completed its major new capital project, The Pines@SPAC. The project restored park-like aesthetics to the grounds and opened up original site lines from the Route 50 Gate to the Victoria Pool. It provided for brand new and vastly expanded restrooms and concessions areas – and new measures for safety and security. In addition, it provided new spaces for gathering outside of the amphitheater: The Julie Bonacio Family Pavilion; The Pines Terrace; and the Nancy Di Cresce Education Room at The Pines, SPAC’s first year-round space for education and community outreach.

The project will have its official ribbon cutting later this season.

Educational Programming & Community Outreach

SPAC’s season kicked off on June 5 with its signature education event, The Adirondack Trust Company Festival of Young Artists, celebrating the artistic achievements of more than 200 local student dancers, singers, musicians, poets and visual artists. At the meeting, the festival’s 2021 Outstanding Artist Winner in Literary Arts, Pallavi Datti, recited her poem “Unvanquished.”

Another highlight of SPAC’s educational programming for 2021 will be NYCB Workshops including a “Children’s Workshop” on SPAC’s stage on July 13 that will teach children choreography inspired by Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; an “In Motion Workshop” for experienced young dancers that will teach choreography inspired by Martin’s Swan Lake and one “Access Workshop” on July 17 designed for children with disabilities.

Additionally, SPAC will once again partner with National Dance Institute (NDI) and Double H Ranch to bring a series of virtual dance workshops to the campers. Approximately 250 campers will participate in the workshops, which are designed to incorporate NDI’s award-winning dance pedagogy into inclusive classrooms where children of all abilities can dance and perform.

Summer Nights at SPAC, which serves Schenectady families, will also return with four movie nights on the SPAC lawn and live performances by local musicians.

“On Monday, May 18, 2020, SPAC did the unthinkable,” Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center, said. “In the middle of glorious high spring weather, after 53 continuous years of presenting on our beloved and legendary stage, we canceled an entire season and left the doors to the amphitheater locked — a profound and solemn acknowledgment during some of the darkest, early days of the pandemic.

“And yet, here we are,” Sobol concluded. “After what now seems an eternity, the amphitheater is open, the lawn is thick and green and our first concert takes place [tonight].”

2021 Season Dates

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

June 13 – August 29

At Pitney Meadows Community Farm

New York City Ballet: On and Off Stage

July 14 – 17

Opera Saratoga | Man of La Mancha

July 8-10

The Philadelphia Orchestra

August 11 – 14

For tickets and more information, visit SPAC.org. 

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