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Bolshoi Ballet coming to SPAC in 2014

Thursday, October 3, 2013
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Ekaterina Kyrsanova, principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, performs in Don Quixote. The famed Russian ballet company will be coming to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center July 30-Aug. 1. (Damir Yusupov photo)
Ekaterina Kyrsanova, principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, performs in Don Quixote. The famed Russian ballet company will be coming to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center July 30-Aug. 1. (Damir Yusupov photo)

— The board of directors for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Thursday reviewed successes of the nearly-completed 2013 season — and looked forward to Russian accents for next summer’s schedule.

SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia J. White announced that Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet will perform in Saratoga Springs from July 30 to Aug. 1 next year.

“They’ll bring 100 of their dancers, a 60-piece orchestra and perform Don Quixote for four performances and we’re very excited about that,” White said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

The Moscow-based Bolshoi troupe, founded in 1776, is among the world’s oldest ballet companies. Saratoga is one of three U.S. locations on the 2014 Bolshoi schedule. “They’ve asked us not to announce the third, but I know one is the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.),” said Shane Williams-Ness, SPAC’s chief marketing and development officer.

Several other dance and music events for 2014 were announced at the board’s annual October meeting. The performing arts center’s resident company, the New York City Ballet, will perform one week, July 8-12. This past season, dancers from the NYC company also spent a single week in town.

The Martha Graham Dance Company will return to the SPAC stage for the first time since 2008, and is booked for June 12. The dancer-illusionist members of MOMIX will return for the second straight year, and have been scheduled for July 22.

Traditional favorites such as the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Music Festival will also return.

White also told board members that the season — which will conclude after the Oct. 23 lecture luncheon with Jacki Lyden of National Public Radio and two performances of the “Nutcracker Tea” on Nov. 17 — has been a success. “We are on course today to break even for another year at the end of 2013,” she said.

Richard D. Geary, SPAC’s chief financial officer and chief operations officer, told reporters he will soon be retiring his positions. “It’s time,” said Geary, 60. “It will be 17 years in March when I retire. I started as controller. I think I became the CFO-COO in 2005.”

Geary told board members that SPAC currently possesses $1.55 million in net assets, “and $1.6 million in current liabilities.”

Geary also said SPAC heads into fall with a cash surplus of $42,000. More funds are expected. “I think we will hit just under $100,000 for the year,” Geary said.

He also said attendance and fees for SPAC Live Nation — the performing arts center’s partner that produces and promotes rock and pop concerts — were all-time highs for 2013. He did not have numbers available. “All I know, it’s the most we’ve ever made,” he said during a break in the board meeting.

Geary said September events were winners for SPAC. The Sept. 21 Farm Aid Music and Food Festival was a sellout and the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival made $240,000 after expenses. “The festival can really go a lot further,” he said. “I think we can only do better with that.”

 
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