nyc ballet

The New York City ballet. Photo credit: Stacey Lauren-Kennedy ©2011

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will again offer educational preshow conversations with performers and other arts personalities during its Pre-Performance Talks presented by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Aimed at connecting audiences with artists performing at SPAC, Pre-Performance Talks offer the opportunity for guests to interact with stars in the worlds of dance and classical music.

Prior to performances of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, New York City Ballet, National Ballet of China, and the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC in 2015, SPAC will host intimate 30-minute discussions with world-renowned dancers, choreographers, musicians, conductors, authors, and critics. Talks are held in the Hall of Springs Gold Room, and begin one hour before performances (1 p.m. for matinees, 7 p.m. for evening performances). Admission to the Pre-Performance Talks is $5 and requires a ticket to the performance, and seating is limited.

“Pre-Performance Talks allow arts lovers to gain personal insights shared by prominent performers and scholars,” said Marcia White, SPAC’s president and executive director. “With luminaries including Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Fei Bo, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin all scheduled to give a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an artist, these informative presentations provide a unique educational experience in the arts.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be the title sponsor of SPAC’s 2015 Pre-Performance Talks series. As it approaches its bicentennial anniversary in 2024, the Institute is defining The New Polytechnic: a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research—a view of the technological research university as a fresh, collaborative endeavor across disciplines, sectors, and global regions that leads by using advanced technologies to unite a multiplicity of disciplines and perspectives. The New Polytechnic ignites students’ imaginative abilities, enhances critical thinking, and fosters intellectual agility through ART_X@Rensselaer—the exploration of form, function, patterns, processes, dimensionality, and relatedness across all disciplines.

“Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is proud to partner with SPAC to inspire and educate guests of all ages at its 2015 Pre-Performance Talks series,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “We look forward to a summer of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and advice for aspiring artists in discussions with many of the world-class performers who will take the stage at SPAC this season.”


SPAC’s 2015 Pre-Performance Talks Presented by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:


Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

June 17, 7 p.m.     Lar Lubovitch, Artistic Director, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company


New York City Ballet

July 7, 7 p.m.       Peter Martins, Ballet Master-in-Chief, NYCB

July 8, 7 p.m.       Justin Peck, NYCB Resident Choreographer, soloist

July 9, 1 p.m.       Conversation with a NYCB dancer

July 9, 7 p.m.       Nancy Goldner, dance critic, author

July 10, 7 p.m.      Robert Maiorano, former soloist, NYCB

July 11, 1 p.m.      Costumes & Conversation with Norma Attride, NYCB Wardrobe Mistress

July 14, 7 p.m.      Christine Redpath, Ballet Master, NYCB, with Jay Rogoff, poet; lecturer in English, Skidmore College; dance critic

July 15, 7 p.m.      Deborah Jowitt, dance critic, author

July 16, 1 p.m.      Deborah Jowitt, dance critic, author

July 16, 7 p.m.      William Otto, former NYCB dancer

July 17, 7 p.m.      Mindy Aloff, professor of dance, Barnard College

July 18, 1 p.m.      Conversation with a NYCB dancer

July 18, 7 p.m.      Mindy Aloff, professor of dance, Barnard College


The National Ballet of China

July 21, 7 p.m.      Fei Bo, choreographer of The Peony Pavilion

china ballet

Photo credit: SPAC


The Philadelphia Orchestra

Aug. 5, 7 p.m.      David Kim, Concertmaster, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Aug. 6, 7 p.m.      Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pianist

Aug. 7, 7 p.m.      Stéphane Denève, Principal Guest Conductor, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Aug. 8, 7 p.m.      TBA

Aug. 12, 7 p.m.     Emanuel Ax, pianist

Aug. 13, 7 p.m.     Steven Reineke, conductor

Aug. 14, 7 p.m.     Bramwell Tovey, conductor

Aug. 15, 7 p.m.     Johannes Moser, cellist

Aug. 19, 7 p.m.     Conversation with a Philadelphia Orchestra musician

Aug. 20, 7 p.m.     TBA

Aug. 21, 7 p.m.     Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Aug. 22, 7 p.m.     Robert Cafaro, cellist, The Philadelphia Orchestra