Saratoga County

Group to discuss ballet’s future at SPAC

The people who have been exchanging concerned emails since hearing that next year’s New York City Ba

The people who have been exchanging concerned emails since hearing that next year’s New York City Ballet season may be in jeopardy are planning to hold a meeting Monday to discuss their options.

There’s not yet an organized Save the Ballet group as there was in 2005 when the Saratoga Performing Arts Center was in danger of losing the ballet altogether. But George Neary of Saratoga Springs, who was involved with Save the Ballet last time, has reserved a room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Monday evening and everyone is invited, including the 79 people on the email list.

The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. in the Glasby Room in the basement.

“Everybody can just talk about what they think should be done,” Neary said.

The two-week New York City Ballet season starts Tuesday. SPAC officials are in negotiations with the ballet about next year’s season and have said they plan to announce something on or before Tuesday.

Marcia White, president and executive director of SPAC, has said the ballet will be back next year, but she is not sure “to what extent.” That has led to concern among fans that the ballet could be shortened to one week or eventually dropped altogether for financial reasons.

SPAC officials have cited the rising cost of bringing the ballet to Saratoga Springs.

Ballet supporters are anxiously waiting to hear what will be announced as a result of the negotiations. Lisa Mehigan, who is also on the email list, has floated the idea of starting a charity fundraising organization to help fund the classical programs rather than an activist Save the Ballet group.

Both options likely will be discussed at Monday’s meeting.

The performing arts center hosted its first ballet summer season in 1966, the year it opened.

For years, the New York City Ballet performed for four weeks at SPAC, and then for three weeks. It switched to a two-week season in 2009 for financial reasons.

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