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NYC Ballet opens at SPAC

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Albany/HV: NYC Ballet opens at SPAC
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The New York City Ballet takes the stage for another season. Tuesday was opening night for the company at SPAC. The ballet is in town for the next two weeks, but fans are already looking ahead to next year, when things will be a bit different. Innae Park has more.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The 47th season of the NYC Ballet at SPAC opened in full splendor Tuesday night, but there was a slight sting, knowing that such beauty would be limited next year.

“Nothing that anybody wants to see, but it's something necessary,” said Marcia White, SPAC President and Executive Director.

After being reduced from three to two weeks in 2009, next season will be down to just one. Both groups say it was a mutual decision, all based on finances.

White said, “What we need to do, what we're working on in 2013, is to come up with a financial structure that we can afford and jointly sustain for years to come.”

Longtime fans say they are crushed, but have offered ideas.

“I really wish we had the publicity that Tanglewood has. I think we need to do more to support, get the word out in New York City and surrounding areas,” Saratoga Springs resident Laurie Wellman said.

Waterford resident Bertilla Baker said, “I think the reason why is that we don't have good investment into the arts in schools. You have to build an audience from when they're little, little children.”

However, there are a few foraging ahead with an appreciation for the arts. More than a dozen Capital Region youth are performing with the company this season.

“I'm looking at all the people in the company and yakking about what it would be like if I was in it, what it would be like on opening night,” Heather Duncan said. “It makes me want to do it.”

“I want to remember the different experiences I had, being an understudy and getting in finally,” Mahogani Akita said.

And the same dream is held by those at the helm.

“We have American Girl doll night, lots of ways to encourage families to bring their children, introduce them to the arts,” White said.

White says it is their goal to have the New York City Ballet return for a two-week season in 2014.

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