SARATOGA SPRINGS — Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will make its debut engagement at Saratoga Performing Arts Center this summer with a program of innovative works by contemporary choreographers.
The company’s Saratoga program, scheduled for July 24 and 25, is part of a 2013 dance season for SPAC that also includes engagements by New York City Ballet (July 9 to 13), the National Ballet of Canada (July 16 to 18) and MOMIX (Aug. 1).
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a breath of fresh air,” was founded in 1996 when Bebe Schweppe invited former Joffrey Ballet dancers Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty to create a ballet company in the city of Aspen, Colo. In 2000, a second location was established in Santa Fe, N.M.
Since then, the troupe of 11 classically trained dancers has grown to become an internationally recognized dance company. A cornerstone of its mission is a commitment to commissioning and presenting new choreography by established and emerging choreographers.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
WHERE: Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs
WHEN: July 24-25
HOW MUCH: $24-$80
MORE INFO: 584-9330, www.spac.org
The company will present six unique works during its SPAC engagement:
• “Square None” by young choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III. The work, commissioned by the company, was praised by the St. Louis Post Dispatch for its “imaginative use of the dancers’ athleticism and grace . . .” The ballet features baroque-inspired costumes by Austin Scarlett of Project Runway fame.
• “Over Glow” by Boston Ballet resident choreographer Jorma Elo. The work for six dancers, which fuses modern movements with classical music by Mendelssohn and Beethoven, is performed in front of a luminescent background.
• “Return to the Strange Land,” a 1975 work by Jiri Kylián created in tribute to his late mentor, John Cranko, the choreographer and director of The Stuttgart Ballet. This rarely seen classic is a poetic work danced en pointe for six dancers to the haunting music of Leoš Janácek.
• “Stamping Ground,” the second work on the program by Kylián, and a piece inspired by Australian aboriginal dance and culture. The percussive music of Carlos Chávez propels the dance.
• “Like a Samba,” Trey McIntyre’s critically acclaimed 1997 work and one of his most frequently performed. A signature piece for ASFB, the work is danced en pointe to songs by Brazilian jazz singer Astrud Gilberto.
• “Last,” a commission by Alejandro Cerrudo that premiered in July 2012. Set to Henryk Górecki’s shape-shifting “Kleines Requieum fur eine Polka,” the abstract piece for six men and three women has been praised as “. . . a quiet miracle,” by Debra Levine of the Los Angeles Times.
Tickets start at $24 for lawn admission; amphitheater seating ranges from $24 to $80. Kids 12 and under are free on the lawn. Tickets for all dance programs are available now at www.spac.org. Beginning May 15, tickets will be available by phone at 584-9330 and at SPAC’s Route 50 box office.