“A Midsummer Night’s Supper”

Inspired by George Balanchine and Tanaquil Le Clercq to benefit SPAC on July 12 and 13, 2021

Featuring appearances by New York City Ballet dancers Tyler Angle, Gonzalo Garcia, Maria Kowroski, Amar Ramasar, Teresa Reichlen and the legendary Edward Villella

Photo: Dave Bigler Photos and Events

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces “A Midsummer Night’s Supper,” inspired by George Balanchine’s ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream and ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq’s The Ballet Cook Book. A fundraiser for SPAC, the festive summer feast will feature herb-infused spirits by Albany Distilling Company; a multi-course gourmet dinner; and appearances by New York City Ballet dancers Tyler Angle, Gonzalo Garcia, Maria Kowroski, Amar Ramasar, Teresa Reichlen and legendary retired NYCB dancer Edward Villella. Between courses, Meryl Rosofsky, creator of the “Breaking Bread with Balanchine” project; Paul Kolnik, renowned NYCB photographer and Saratoga devotee; and Jeanne Fuchs, author and longtime friend of Tanaquil Le Clercq who worked with her on The Ballet Cook Book, will share stories about food, ballet, and Saratoga.

Conceived by Meryl Rosofsky as an homage to Balanchine’s love of cooking and New York City Ballet’s storied history at SPAC, which began 55 years ago with a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the magical dining experience is slated for Monday, July 12 and Tuesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. in SPAC’s new, outdoor Julie Bonacio Family Pavilion. The suppers will serve as the kick-off to New York City Ballet’s appearance at SPAC, scheduled for Wednesday, July 14 through Saturday, July 17.

“We all know that George Balanchine was a choreographic genius,” says Rosofsky, who serves as Vice-Chair of the George Balanchine Foundation. “But what many ballet lovers don’t know is that he was also a gifted cook. During summers in Saratoga, he’d even make his own ice cream and jams. His muse and wife Tanaquil Le Clercq wrote the wonderful The Ballet Cook Book, thanks to which we have personal stories and recipes from many of the great dancers of her day, including longtime Saratoga denizen Melissa Hayden (whose son happens to be my husband!) and the beloved, recently departed Jacques d’Amboise, who made a mean Sauce Béarnaise.”

The exclusive menu will feature recipes by Balanchine, Le Clercq, and dance luminaries who originated roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, including d’Amboise, Hayden, Patricia McBride, Arthur Mitchell, and Violette Verdy. The multi-course feast will be prepared by Chef Kim Klopstock of The Lily and the Rose and will be accompanied by superb wines and inventive cocktails like “Puck’s Potion” and “Bottom’s Up” created for the occasion.

“Balanchine is deeply embedded in SPAC’s DNA for his role in building our amphitheater stage and co-founding our beloved New York City Ballet. This event gives us a unique opportunity to honor many incredible artists and to celebrate the intersection of dance and culinary arts,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “What a great way for us to come together and celebrate as our world opens up and we can once again welcome our audience back for live performances and unique events like this. We are so fortunate to have been guided by the vision of Meryl Rosofsky and to be collaborating once again with Kim Klopstock, Pam Abrams and the SPAC Action Council.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Supper”ispart of the Center’s CulinaryArts@SPAC initiative, which launched in the fall of 2020 and features educational classes, workshops, gourmet experiences and more to support local chefs, farmers, and the regional culinary community.

Tickets to attend are $350 or $250 for a Junior Ticket (35 years old and under) and will be available for purchase on Monday, June 28. Tables are available in reservations of six ($5,000); eight ($7,500) or ten ($10,000). Guests who purchase a table of ten will have the opportunity to dine with a dancer from New York City Ballet. Edward Villella will participate in the July 13 event only. Visit spac.org for more details, or contact Heather Varney at hvarney@spac.org.

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