Horse racing may draw the most consistent crowds to the bucolic upstate New York town of Saratoga Springs, but every summer thoroughbreds of a different sort get the spotlight: the dancers of New York City Ballet, which performs an annual season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Consider it a highlights reel of the company’s spring Lincoln Center season, which always draws to a close shortly before. Saratoga audiences get to see a sampler of City Ballet’s best, along with a refreshed group of dancers who’ve typically just returned from revitalizing “layoff” time. This time around, City Ballet will bring classics (an all-Balanchine program, Romeo & Juliet) and will continue its celebration of the centennials of Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein. But some of the most exciting work on the programs here is relatively new to the company’s repertoire and comes to Saratoga for the first time.
Highlights include in-house choreographer (and recently-minted Tony-winner) Justin Peck’s exquisite Pulcinella Variations and Robbins homage Easy; Broadway veteran Warren Carlyle’s epic Robbins tribute Something to Dance About; principal dancer and budding choreographer Lauren Lovette’s forward-thinking Not Our Fate; and rising star Gianna Reisen’s Composer’s Holiday. Balletomanes craving an especially festive evening should nab tickets to the July 21 gala: post-performance, the audience will enjoy fireworks and their own turn to take to the dance floor. 108 Ave. of the Pines; July 17-21