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SPAC unveils 2009 ballet schedule

Though the Saratoga Performing Arts Center decided to trim its time with the New York City Ballet from three weeks to two this year, those two weeks will feature 20 different ballets, including three performances of CoppElia, which premiered at SPAC in 1974.

SPAC released the season's schedule on Thursday, March 12, which also includes George Balanchine's "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" and the new one-act "Swan Lake." New York City Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins' 1994 work, "Papillions," will appear at SPAC for the first time.

"CoppElia" will appear on July 15, 17 and 18. The ballet season will run July 7 to 18.

"The program the Company is bringing to Saratoga is one that will remind audiences of why New York City Ballet is the foremost dance company in the world," said Marcia White, SPAC president and executive director, in a statement.

In November, SPAC and the NYC Ballet announced that they would shorten the season in the face of dwindling attendance. The two groups lost a combine $2.3 million in 2008, and moving to two weeks is expected to reduce that deficit by $800,000.

According to SPAC officials, in 2008 it cost about $113,000 to put on one ballet show, and ticket sales only covered half of that amount.

In addition, SPAC will once again offer American Girl night on July 15. Lawn admission for children under 12 will be $5, and kids are encouraged to bring along their favorite doll from the popular American Girl line.

Tickets will go on sale May 10, available through www.spac.org, or by calling SPAC at 584-9330. The full schedule can also be found on the Web site.

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