On Monday evening, ballet fans in Washington, DC, can get a first look at a new ballet film—for free. The feature-length documentary American Masters: American Ballet Theatre premieres March 23 at 6 pm at the Kennedy Center. General admission tickets will be distributed—two per person—at the venue’s States Gallery about a half-hour prior to the screening.
Produced as part of PBS’ American Masters series, the movie follows the rise of ABT from a small, struggling ballet collective to one of the world’s preeminent companies. For nearly a decade, a film crew led by director Ric Burns has been shooting original footage during rehearsals and performances. Viewers are also promised interviews with past and present stars like Susan Jaffe, Julie Kent, Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes. Burns even got to speak with the late Frederic Franklin, Donald Saddler and critic Clive Barnes before they passed away. The film’s release celebrates the company’s 75th anniversary.
For those who will miss the special screening at the Kennedy Center, American Masters: American Ballet Theatre will premiere nationwide on May 15 on PBS.