True to its commitment of making the arts accessible to all, New York City’s Lincoln Center launches a new initiative this month – a series of cinema screenings entitled Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance .
This series, a partnership between Lincoln Center and Fathom Events brings to the screens of some 600 cinemas across the United States a production by each of four selected dance companies, and San Francisco Ballet has the honor of presenting the first program. It will be followed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico and New York City Ballet.
On September 24, ballet enthusiasts across the country will have the opportunity to see San Francisco Ballet’s gorgeous production of Romeo & Juliet by the Company’s Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer, Helgi Tomasson. One of the best-loved full-length ballets in the repertoire, Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy is set to Prokofiev’s sumptuous score – acknowledged as one of the composer’s greatest masterpieces. San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancers, Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan, take the title roles, with Company Principal Dancers Pascal Molat as Mercutio, Joseph Walsh as Benvolio and Luke Ingham as Tybalt.
America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet – described by The New York Times as a “national treasure” – has, under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, also acquired an international reputation as one of the world’s foremost ballet companies. In 2005, the Company won the Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Dance’, and the following year it was the first Company outside Europe to be named ‘Company of the Year’ in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll.
Romeo & Juliet was filmed live in performance at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, and directed for the screen by Thomas Grimm. Production and costume design are by Jens-Jacob Worsaae, lighting by Thomas R Skelton and the fight scene was choreographed by Martino Pistone, in collaboration with Helgi Tomasson. The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra is conducted by Martin West, the Company’s Musical Director and Principal Conductor.
Lincoln Center’s Great American Dance Series emanated from the organization’s desire to expose more people – and particularly young people – to the arts, on the basis that if they can’t get to Lincoln Center, then Lincoln Center can reach them. For this reason, there are centers which have been included in the distribution of these screenings which don’t necessarily have access to the wealth of cultural activities and dance and music companies which the larger centers have.
Following San Francisco Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet, the next presentation in this series – by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – takes place on October 22, featuring Ailey’s Revelations, Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Grace by Ronald K Brown, and Takademe by the Company’s Artistic Director, Robert Battle.
On November 12, Ballet Hispanico presents a double bill – CARMEN.maquia, a contemporary take on Bizet’s opera, choreographed by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, and Club Havana by Cuban-born choreographer Pedro Ruiz.
The final production in the series is New York City Ballet’s performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, which will have two screenings – on December 5 and December 10.
Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance has been filmed in HD by the multi-Emmy Award-winning team responsible for the Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts on PBS, led by Executive Producer Andrew C Wilk. Each screening will include extra features such as interviews with the companies’ principal dancers, and what is likely to be fascinating behind-the-scenes footage.
For tickets to the San Francisco Ballet production, visit http://movies.lincolncenter.org/productions/san-francisco-ballet where a trailer of the performance can also be seen. Tickets – and previews – for all four screenings are available on http://movies.lincolncenter.org.
San Francisco Ballet
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts