Prelude to a play

NYC Ballet dancer to visit Saratoga Springs High School English classes

Andrew Scordato,dancer with the NYC Ballet.

Andrew Scordato,dancer with the NYC Ballet.

— The language William Shakespeare so eloquently used in his plays, while beautiful, can be a little difficult to understand, especially to high school English classes. During two such classes at the Saratoga Springs High School, students who will be studying Shakespeare’s work “Romeo and Juliet” in the spring will approach the Bard’s work in a different way.

New York City Ballet dancer Andrew Scordato will be visiting the school on March 7 to discuss elements common to both the dance and theatrical versions of “Romeo and Juliet,” among others, through a presentation entitled “Mambo, Murder and Misguided Love.” During the presentation, Scordato and the students will compare and contrast storylines, characters, sets and the use of mime in ballet as a prelude to studying Shakespeare’s writing in the coming weeks.

“It’s a tough language to get a hold on. This is a great way tointroduce the students to it, through something that is not language. ‘West Side Story’ is the modern version of the play, which he’ll also talk about,”said math teacher Mary Anne Fantauzzi of Scordato’s upcoming visit.

The dancer is no stranger to the area, having given workout classes at a nearby gym in the past and of course through his performances with the ballet at SPAC. The high school is only one of Scordato’s stops during his upcoming Spa City visit. Other points on Scordato’s Saratoga map while he’s in town include the National Museum of Dance and Skidmore College.

“This is his vacation time and he’s choosing to spend it inSaratoga. He’s great with the kids and it exposes them to the repertoire at SPAC. When they go see a production there, there’s now more of a connection to‘Romeo and Juliet’ and it’s an enticement for them to go to school too,” said Fantauzzi.

“Romeo and Juliet” will be one of the performances the New YorkCity Ballet gives during its yearly residency at SPAC this summer.

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