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Summer Programs Preview

Posted: 05/27/2011

Having just bid farewell to the Class of 2011, Skidmore now says “welcome” to summer and all the programs and special guests this sweet, short season brings to campus.

A feast for the eyes and ears, summer at Skidmore offers a variety of programs, many of which have become seasonal traditions that strengthen town-gown connections by presenting public performances and readings for wide audiences.

Up first is the Summer Dance Workshop, with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company headlining.  On campus starting May 29, the company will present classes, lecture-demonstrations, and a conversation with company founder Lar Lubovitch during its workshop. A June 9 company performance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center promises to be a highlight of the fifth annual citywide SaratogaArtsFest.

Returning to campus for the 19th year on June 19 is SITI Company, under the direction of theater innovator Anne Bogart. A total of 60 stage artists from throughout the world will be in residence for four weeks, with a calendar that includes public workshops and demonstrations as well as the performance of Death of a Ploughman July 8 in Bernhard Theater.

Toward the end of June two longstanding summer programs—the Skidmore Jazz Institute and the New York State Summer Writers Institute—will settle in for their residencies. Each program has a tradition of intensive classroom work coupled with public events that always draw big crowds to campus.

Since 1987, the Jazz Institute has developed a reputation as a premier program for jazz study with renowned mentors. The institute is also known for its wildly popular free concerts by guest artists, which this year include the Heath Brothers Quartet (June 28), Linda Oh Quartet (July 2), and Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet (July 5), as well as performances by the program’s students and faculty.

Equally popular is the Writers Institute, which has called Skidmore home for a quarter century. The readings and discussions by the institute’s world-class authors (including Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Ondaatje, Rick Moody, and William Kennedy, among others) give audiences a chance to preview new work and to hear about the writing process in an intimate, congenial setting.

Music, and Skidmore’s stunning Arthur Zankel Music Center, are key ingredients throughout the season thanks to July’s Skidmore Summer Flute Institute (led by faculty member Jan Vinci, senior artist-in-residence) and the Saratoga Harp Colony, which gets under way Aug. 5.  Music also is showcased at the Tang Museum’s Upbeat on the Roof . The 11th season of the popular series of free music performances is scheduled Friday evenings throughout the summer.