The film, directed by Richard Blanshard and narrated by Kevin Kline, had its U.S. premiere at the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center earlier this year. It includes footage of NYCB in performance and of the company's dancers exploring St. Petersburg as well as interviews with dancers and audience members.
It also captures backstage dramas, including an unexpectedly long intermission at NYCB's first performance. The delay, dancers eventually learned, was caused by an impromptu orchestra rehearsal called by conductor Valery Gergiev on the roof of the theater.
The May 8 gala, at the Joan Weill Center for Dance, will be hosted by NYCB ballet master in chief Peter Martins; the audience, according to a press release, will include "film industry personalities, star dancers, key media, and social figures." Admission is by invitation only.