Video Series Featuring All Three Resident Companies: New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

{{Editor’s Note: Here are two ‘teaser videos’ – the first explains the concept; the second shows the execution – followed by the official details – AG}}

SPAC will release new videos today through July 25 on social media and its website for a virtual “Ballet Month,” coinciding with NYCB’s previously scheduled residency

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces “SPAC REIMAGINED,” a series of unique, locally-shot dance videos that pay tribute to the 2020 classical season and feature all three of SPAC’s resident companies. Created by videographers and NYCB dancers, Emily Kikta and Peter Walker, the project combines the talents of seven dancers and four choreographers from New York City Ballet, alongside music performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The videos will be released starting TODAY, 7/14, the previously scheduled date of New York City Ballet’s Opening Night, and will culminate with a longer-form, exclusive performance on Saturday, 7/25.

“In a time when the usual parameters and processes of presenting live performance have evaporated, SPAC has been reinventing itself – and the ways in which we provide great art and artists to our community. This year marks our fourth collaboration with NYCB dancers and videographers Emily Kikta and Peter Walker, but it is the first time that the series will incorporate artists from across our entire classical season.  We feel fortunate to have this artistic gift to share – something to fill, if just a little, the enormous void created in a ballet season without New York City Ballet,” said Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

In a mere two weeks, the artists choreographed, rehearsed and shot the films to be released starting on July 14th, New York City Ballet’s original opening night at SPAC. The video series features four new digital works filmed exclusively on the grounds of SPAC and in the Saratoga Spa State Park and are all set to music originally planned to be performed during the 2020 classical season. The virtual “Ballet Month” culminates on July 25 with one longer piece that incorporates all four of the shorter videos.

“Over the past four years, we have expanded SPAC’s mission to more closely connect the venue’s beautiful natural setting with the arts. This new series continues to showcase dance and music in a fresh, interesting and more approachable context, while also providing a unique opportunity for our community to experience the magic of SPAC safely in an engaging, virtual environment,” said Ms. Sobol.

Emily Kikta has been a dancer in New York City Ballet since 2010. She graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University with a Bachelors in Communications and Media Studies in 2017. She is a 2019 Virginia B. Toulmin Fellow for Women Leaders in Dance at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. Her choreographic work has been performed by the School of American Ballet, dancers from Jacob Jonas the Company, and by New York City Ballet dancers representing the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. 

Peter Walker has been a dancer and choreographer with the New York City Ballet since 2011. He was promoted to soloist in 2018. He has created choreographic work for the New York City Ballet, School of American Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Jacob Jonas the Company, Saratoga Performing Arts Center and for Charlie Kaufman’s upcoming film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.” 

New York City Ballet dancers featured in the videos include Devin Alberda, Christina Clark, Uma Deming, Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara, Anthony Huxley, Emily Kikta and Peter Walker. The pieces were choreographed by Emily Kikta, Peter Walker, Devin Alberda and Christina Clark. All artists were tested for COVID-19 prior to coming to the Capital Region and the artists strictly adhered to the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

This project was made possible thanks to The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Patricia Carson, Leslie and Richard Curtis, Robert Schulman, Stuart and Merrill Coleman, Michael Popkin, Donya Bommer and Charles and Deborah Adelman.

The videos will be released today through July 25 at spac.org, and on SPAC’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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