Press Releases

July 8, 2015

San Francisco Ballet Opens Lincoln Center’s Inaugural Great American Dance Film Series in Fall 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Wednesday, July 8, 2015–San Francisco Ballet kicks off the new cinema series, Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, with Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet on September 24 at 7:00pm. Shown at select cinemas nationwide, the screenings will feature the full production in HD, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. SF Ballet Principal Dancers Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan perform the title roles of Juliet and Romeo, with Company Principal Dancers Pascal Molat, Joseph Walsh, and Luke Ingham performing the roles of Mercutio, Benvolio, and Tybalt, respectively.

SF Ballet is one of four American dance companies that were selected for Great American Dance. The series continues with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on October 22, Ballet Hispanico on November 12, and New York City Ballet on December 5 and 10. Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance is produced by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and distributed by Fathom Events. SF Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet was directed for the screen by Thomas Grimm. The SF Ballet Orchestra provided accompaniment, led by Music Director & Principal Conductor Martin West. 

Tomasson remarked, “Romeo & Juliet is one of my favorite productions. Director Thomas Grimm and the Company did a wonderful job bringing the story to life, and I’m delighted that it will reach new audiences in theaters across the country this fall.”

Tomasson’s production of Romeo & Juliet, the timeless Shakespearean tale of tragic first love, premiered in 1994. Since then, the work has won audience and critical acclaim, with the San Francisco Chronicle noting, “Whether it's high-flying, sweet romance or gritty sword fights, there is more than a little something for everyone in San Francisco Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet.” Set to an evocative Prokofiev score, the production features production and costume design by Jens-Jacob Worsaae, lighting design by Thomas R. Skelton, and fight scene choreography by Martino Pistone, in collaboration with Helgi Tomasson.

SF Ballet’s production of Romeo & Juliet for Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance is made possible by Production Sponsor First Republic Bank. Additional support is provided by The Diana Dollar Knowles Foundation and Denise Littlefield Sobel. The original production of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet was made possible by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.                

San Francisco Ballet
As America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. San Francisco Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States. Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, Willam and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance” and in 2006, it was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. In 2008, the Company marked its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives including an ambitious New Works Festival. Recent highlights include the United States premiere of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, which was broadcast internationally, as well as nationally on PBS’s Great Performances “Dance in America” in 2011. In 2012, SF Ballet’s ambitious tour schedule included London and Washington, D.C., plus first-time visits to Hamburg, Moscow, and Sun Valley, Idaho. In October 2013, the Company performed at New York’s David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where The New York Times declared SF Ballet “a national treasure.” In July 2014, the Company toured to Paris as part of Les Etés de la Danse Festival, marking the 10th anniversary of its inaugural engagement with the festival. At Théâtre du Châtelet, SF Ballet presented over 20 works by 15 choreographers over a gala evening and 17 performances.  2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Helgi Tomasson’s tenure as artistic director of San Francisco Ballet.

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