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It’s that coolness under pressure that Martins was looking for when casting the leads for next week’s performances. “I have 12 casts and they’re all fantastic,” Martins said. “But this particular cast is very, very reliable. They will always deliver.”

The ballet transmissions, produced by Live From Lincoln Center for the NCM Fathom theater network, are the first by an American ballet company (the Bolshoi Ballet and the Royal Ballet in London have done their own, as well as several opera companies and the National Theater in London.)

The two broadcasts will have high-profile presenters: Talk-show host Kelly Ripa on the 13th, and Chelsea Clinton, a known ballet fan who danced ballet as a child in Washington, on the 14th.

“We’ve been talking about doing this for a long time,” said Katherine Brown, executive director of City Ballet. She said tickets appear to be selling well, but that it’s hard to tell in advance because many people just show up and buy tickets on the spot.

Tickets cost more than an average trip to the movies _ ranging from about $15 to $20, depending on the theater.

Although such HD transmissions in theaters are growing in popularity, they’ve raised the question of whether they could siphon off dancegoers who might otherwise seek out a live performance in their own communities. Could the New York City Ballet be considered, in other words, an unwelcome interloper?

Not at all, said a ballet presenter in Omaha, Neb., where the City Ballet version will hit the AMC Oakview multiplex next week.

“The more the merrier,” said Trisha Hoffman-Ahrens, vice president of marketing and communication at Omaha Performing Arts. The organization is presenting a “Nutcracker” by the visiting Aspen Santa Fe Ballet this weekend at the Orpheum Theater, which it owns.

Like many American cities, Omaha gets Nutcrackers from various sources. The city’s own Omaha Theater Ballet shut down in 2009. For the last few years, the Moscow Ballet touring company has visited, although not this year, Hoffman-Ahrens said. There’s also a production at the city’s Creighton University.

“It’s great that we can get these fabulous companies from New York into the theaters,” Hoffman-Ahrens said. “And this will never detract people from seeing a live performance in their own community.”

Brown and Martins clearly hope this will be just the beginning. Future ballets that could be shown in movie theaters include other full-length works like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

For now, though, the dancers have to pull off their best performances. And make sure not to forget the basics.

“I’ve got to remember to smile,” Bouder quipped.



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