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SPAC Save the Date

“Save the Date” Saratoga Performing Arts Center Announces 50th Anniversary Season Schedule of Engagements

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) announces its 50th Anniversary Classical Season Schedule for the summer of 2016. SPAC’s Golden Anniversary will be celebrated with innovative programming, once-in-a-lifetime special events, and honorary world-premieres by New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Justin Peck and internationally acclaimed composer Michael Torke with The Philadelphia Orchestra.  In addition, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Doug Varone and Dancers will kick-off the 2016 season in special anniversary engagements.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre will present a two-day, three-performance engagement on July 8th and 9th at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  The company, recognized by the United States Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” has performed for over 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on 6 continents, celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition.

The company’s Artistic Director, Robert Battle, has local connections to SPAC and Skidmore College. For many years, Battle has been a guest artist and master class instructor of the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA), a collaboration between New York State, Skidmore College, the National Museum of Dance, and SPAC.  Furthermore, prior to his role at Alvin Ailey, Battle founded his own dance company, Battleworks, which has twice participated in residencies at Skidmore College.

In addition, as part of a historic partnership with Skidmore College, SPAC will present critically-acclaimed Doug Varone and Dancers modern dance company to kick-off the 2016 season.  Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, the company resides at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and has performed on all of the major stages and festivals across the country, as well as in Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America.

The full schedule of programs for the summer season will be as follows:

Doug Varone Dance Company—June 17
Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival—June 25-26
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—July 8-9
New York City Ballet—July 20-30
New York City Ballet Gala—July 23
The Philadelphia Orchestra—August 3-20
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center—August 7-23
Saratoga Wine and Food Festival—September 9-11

“We will welcome back New York City Ballet for two weeks in late July as they return from an engagement in Paris. City Ballet will open their residency with A Mid Summer Night’s Dream as they did on SPAC’s opening night in 1966.  The residency will also include the world premiere of a ballet choreographed by the company’s celebrated Resident Choreographer, Justin Peck, commissioned by Ron & Michele Riggi and Vincent & Patty Riggi in celebration of SPAC’s 50th anniversary,” White said.

On July 23, 2016, SPAC’s 50th Anniversary New York City Ballet Gala will be chaired by three of SPAC’s founding families whose vision, dedication, and generous support brought the venue to life.  SPAC’s founders included Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney & Marylou Whitney; Newman (Pete) & Jane Wait; and Charlie & Philly Dake.  Their families have since provided the leadership and support to both sustain and expand SPAC’s mission over five decades. 

In honor of the 50th Anniversary, SPAC has created a micro-site accessible through The Anniversary micro-site offers details on SPAC’s rich history, plans for the anniversary celebration, ways that audiences can become involved, and an opportunity to share favorite SPAC memories.

For more information, visit or


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