As New York City Ballet revs up for its spring season at the New York State Theater (April 27 through June 27), we get word that the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where the company traditionally spends July, will present the troupe at least through 2005. Hearts leapt into mouths this winter when word got out that SPAC might be booting its prestigious tenant because of flagging attendance, and the fundraisers have moved into high gear.
Greek scientist-photographer Costas’s new collection of performance shots, which documents George Balanchine’s ballets, mostly in color and in alphabetical order, will tantalize both longtime fans of NYCB and novices. Spreads illustrating 51 dances are each accompanied by a brief essay—some are memoirs, some analyses, some critiques—by a critic, teacher, or former Balanchine dancer. This coffee-table monster is the perfect present for a young dancer or a nostalgic balletomane; it’s cheaper than a decent ticket, and lets you savor the performers, current and venerable, close up.