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For classical music and dance, it’s summer in February

The weather doesn’t indicate it is summer, but the entertainment calendar suggests otherwise. 

Indeed, for any non-summer month,, there is a high amount of classical dance and music available. The quality of which is usually found around here during July and August.

In December, the “The Nutcracker” was everyone’s favorite ballet. In February, its composer, Tchaikovsky, rules still. His popular ballet, “Swan Lake,” is at the Palace Theatre in Albany this Friday, February 9.

The beautiful myth of Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with a young princess who has been cursed, is a romantic treasure. A promise of eternal love promises to rescue the princess, but there are betrayals, beautiful music and gorgeous costumes to appreciate before the end.

The work is promoted by World Ballet Series and uses live music provided by Clinton Symphony Orchestra of Mohawk Valley.

The Egg, which has long been a winter dance haven, offers another familiar ballet at the very end of the month. On February 28, the National Opera and Ballet of Ukraine presents the romantic ballet, “Giselle.” It’s a tale of love, revenge and the supernatural. It has captivated audiences since its premiere in Paris in 1841 and is still beloved today.

Coincidentally, a week earlier, on February 22, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine performs at the Troy Saving Bank Music Hall. Presented as part of the Troy Chromatics Concert Series, the scheduling is random not a political statement. 

Do not expect a fire and brimstone evening of music. The second half of the program is the performance of Sibelius’s Symphony No. 3. It’s been described as “good-natured, and deceptively simple.”Go simply for the beauty of the music.

However, world politics being as it is, the timing of both national organizations from Ukraine can make this dual appearance a moving experience.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s February concert is at Proctors in Schenectady this upcoming Saturday. It’s a tribute to George Gershwin’s 100th anniversary of the premiere of “Rhapsody in Blue.” On piano will be Kevin Cole, who is considered one of the great interpreters of Gershwin’s lush and beautiful music.

Other events in the area of dance and music might not be considered in the realm of the classics. Yet, in the world of beautiful music “Jazz at Lincoln Center” with Wynton Marsalis is certainly a special evening. That special evening is February 17 and it takes place at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

Contemporary dance is also available this month. At University Preservation Hall, the Empire State Youth Ensemble Dance presents an evening of dance. Under the leadership of Nacra Dance of Saratoga Springs the young performers will present “Revolution,” on February 24. It’s a work that through movement charts the revolutionary course of modern dance.

It might not fit the strict definition of dance, but any activity that describes itself as floating, flying and defying gravity is close enough for me. That’s how the promotional material for No Gravity Theatre describes their work, “From Hell to Paradise.” It will be performed at the Egg this Friday, February 9.

Finally – again under the no description fits logo - Shen Yun 2024, is at Proctors February 20-21. It is an extravagant, showy demonstration of grace and beauty. The performers use gorgeous costumes, music and movement to explore centuries of Chinese culture. The event evades definition, but it is memorable.

The same might be said of all the arts in February, 2024. It doesn’t replace summer. But, if you really cant wait, be aware that tickets for this summer’s appearance of the New York City Ballet at SPAC just went on sale.

Bob Goepfert is theater reviewer for the Troy Record.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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