national-ballet.JPGPHOTO-VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES

Tues, July 16 ~ Thurs, July 18

Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - The National Ballet of Canada, one of the world's top international dance companies, will present three of its most acclaimed works during its debut engagement at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, July 16 - 18, including one of its signature works, the full-length story ballet, Giselle. This dazzling production, regarded as one of the most visually striking works in the classical canon, headlines a repertory program that also includes modern masterpieces by Crystal Pite and James Kudelka.  

Founded by British dance star Celia Franca in 1951, The National Ballet of Canada has been a major force in the world of ballet since Rudolf Nureyev performed with it in the mid-1960s and brought the company to New York. With nearly 70 dancers and its own orchestra, the company ranks as one of the world's top international dance companies. Its repertoire includes works by the world's most celebrated 20th and 21st century masters. The company, based in Toronto, is led by Artistic Director Karen Kain, one of the foremost classical dancers of the 20th century. TUESDAY, JULY 16 Karen Kain Pre-Talk @ 7 P.M. - Karen Kain, long recognized as one of the most gifted classical dancers of her era, has been Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada since 2005. Under her leadership, the company has reached new levels of success as a result of her commitment to innovative choreography, large-scale commissions and international tours. Kain is also one of Canada's foremost advocates on behalf of arts and culture. Ms. Kain will share her insights on dance and the company's Saratoga program. Opening Night @ 8 P.M. featuring Modern Masterpieces -- The National Ballet of Canada opens its Saratoga engagement with a Mixed Rep program featuring modern masterpieces by two of Canada's most talented choreographers, James Kudelka and Crystal Pite. Mr. Kudelka's The Four Seasons, a work touted by critics and patrons as a "modern masterpiece," is a powerful exploration in dance and music of the seasons of a man's life. Emergence by Ms. Pite, explores the instinct for creating social forms through the movement and architecture of the choreography itself. The work is the winner of four Dora Awards.  WEDNESDAY, JULY 17 Girls Night Out @ 6 P.M. sponsored by the Academy of Holy Names and The Times Union.  The biggest "Girls' Night Out" yet, this evening of "luxury, wellness and fun," will feature upscale services and products by nearly 50 vendors including complimentary hair blow outs, mini mani pedis, yoga workshops, pilates and cross-fit demonstrations, massage, wine and chocolate tastings, pop-up boutiques, psychic readings, entertainment and more. "Giselle" Premiere @ 8 P.M. - The company's signature, full-length production of Giselle, one of the most popular ballets of all time, will have its Saratoga premiere during the company's SPAC engagement. Based on a fairy tale about a peasant girl who falls in love with a dashing prince disguised as a commoner, Giselle follows its heroine through a haunting story of betrayal, heartbreak, forgiveness and redemption. The title role of Giselle is regarded as one of the most difficult in ballet due to the intensely dramatic nature of the role as well as the physical stamina required to dance the lead throughout the full-length production. THURSDAY, JULY 18 The Sage Colleges "Date Night" @ 6 P.M. - One of the most popular pre-show events, The Sage Colleges "Date Night" is an ideal complement to an evening of world-class ballet. Guests can enjoy craft beer tastings, world-class wine tastings, complimentary imported cheeses and specialty treats commemorative photo booths by Saratoga Photobooth Company. "Giselle"@ 2 P.M. & 8 P.M. - The company's signature, full-length production of Giselle, one of the most popular ballets of all time, will be presented at both matinee and evening performances on Thursday, July 18. Based on a fairy tale about a peasant girl who falls in love with a dashing prince disguised as a commoner, Giselle follows its heroine through a haunting story of betrayal, heartbreak, forgiveness and redemption.

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Contact: Shane Williams-Ness, 518.584.9330 x 116 M:518.378.0295 shane@spac.org   Lisa Hill, 518.584.9330 x 119 M:518.496.2882 lhill@spac.org; http://www.spac.org/