"Romeo & Juliet," Shakespeare's classic tale of tragic romance as choreographed by Helgi Tomasson to music by Sergei Prokofiev, comes to life on the big screen at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, when the San Francisco Ballet's performance is shown in approximately 600 movie theaters nationwide.
Locally, the production can be seen at the Regal Elmwood Center 16 and Regal Transit Stadium 18 & IMAX.
This is the first program in a new series produced by Lincoln Center and presented in association with Fathom Events.
"We really kind of were thinking about how we can take Lincoln Center's mission of great art for all, and extend that out on a national level," Lincoln Center Executive Vice President Peter Duffin said. "The Metropolitan Opera has the very successful Met HD program, but there's a real lack of national engagement and ways the nation can engage with great concept dance.
"And so the idea of this 'Great American Dance' series came up, and I think it's really kind of taken hold. The company is very excited about it. We're really excited about it. We're getting lots of positive feedback."
"Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance" will bring spectacular dance performances by four of America's leading dance companies - the San Francisco Ballet Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico and New York City Ballet - to movie theaters throughout the U.S. this fall and winter.
"It's a great opportunity for Lincoln Center; it's a great opportunity for the dance companies," Duffin said. "We're out to engage art lovers throughout America.
"We've heard, as well as our movie distributor, that there's a real desire to see great American dance across America. So, we're really glad that we, as Lincoln Center, can bring these great companies to America."
"Lincoln Center at the Movies" will bring the best of the performing arts to national audiences through Fathom's extensive network of movie theaters and will focus on the different art forms on Lincoln Center's campus.
"Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance" programs are taped in HD by the multi-Emmy Award-winning team responsible for "Live From Lincoln Center" broadcasts on PBS. "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" stars Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan host each one.
"They are full productions," Duffin said. "They are recorded by our Emmy Award-winning team that does 'Live from Lincoln Center' for us. So they're really beautiful. They're in HD, so it's a really high-quality experience.
"What's great about the season is that they range from this beautiful, classical ballet, 'Romeo & Juliet,' to Alvin Ailey's 'Revelations,' which is a real cool piece of American repertoire. It's a really interesting kind of breadth and survey, all most, of American dance. A really great program."
Each screening will include extra features such as interviews with the companies' principal dancers and informative segments that will provide an inside look at the productions.
These showings bring something special to smaller markets around the country.
"I check the list for where we are," Lincoln Center Senior Publicity Manager Marian Skokan said. One of the movie theaters showing "Lincoln Center at the Movies" is in "Fairbanks, Alaska. I don't think that any of these companies have ever appeared live. ... It's pretty cool that it reaches really, really out there."
"New York City Ballet doesn't tend to tour nationally that much, and San Francisco doesn't either," Duffin said. "So, it's a really good way for those companies to reach a national audience."
"Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance" programs continue at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing its signature work, "Revelations," the American dance masterpiece created by company founder Alvin Ailey, and three additional works: "Chroma" by Wayne McGregor, "Grace by Ronald K. Brown" and "Takademe" by the company's artistic director, Robert Battle.
Coming to movie screens at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 is Ballet Hispanico, the nation's premier Latino dance company, with two audience favorites: "Carmen," an electrifying contemporary take on Bizet's passionate opera choreographed by Spaniard Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, and "Club Havana," a virtuosic re-imagining of a sizzling nightclub, by Cuban-born choreographer Pedro Ruiz.
New York City Ballet's holiday classic, George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker," set to the famed Tchaikovsky score, is the concluding program of the series' inaugural season with two screenings: 12:55 p.m. Dec. 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10.
For more information, visit LincolnCenterattheMovies.org.
Tickets for "Romeo & Juliet" and all "Lincoln Center at the Movies" screenings are available at FathomEvents.com and at participating theater box offices.
"Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance" presents San Francisco Ballet and "Romeo & Juliet"