Casting Announced for first Two Weeks of ABT's 2010 Spring Season at Met

Casting for the first two weeks of American Ballet Theatre's 2010 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

The season will begin on Monday, May 17 at 6:30 P.M. with the Company's Opening Night Gala. The evening will be highlighted by the Company Premieres of Sir Frederick Ashton's Thaïs Pas de Deux, danced by Diana Vishneva and Jose Manuel Carreño, and Awakening Pas de Deux, danced by Paloma Herrera and Cory Stearns. Set to "Meditation" from Jules Massenet's Thaïs, Thaïs Pas de Deux was given its World Premiere by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell at a Gala Performance at the Adelphi Theatre in London on March 21, 1971. Awakening Pas de Deux, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, received its World Premiere as part of a new production of Ashton's The Sleeping Beauty by The Royal Ballet on December 17, 1968. Thaïs Pas de Deux and Awakening Pas de Deux were both staged for ABT by Grant Coyle.

The Gala program will also feature pas de deux from John Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias, performed by Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle; Romeo and Juliet, with Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo; Swan Lake, with Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes; The Sleeping Beauty; with Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg; and Don Quixote, danced by Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel. The evening will also include David Parsons' Caught, performed by Angel Corella, and The Rose Adagio from The Sleeping Beauty, performed by Michele Wiles, as well as excerpts from Birthday Offering,

The Brahms-Haydn Variations and La Bayadère. Dancers from ABT II will make their Spring Gala debut, performing the first movement of Edwaard Liang's Ballo Per Sei. American Ballet Theatre's Spring Gala is sponsored by Graff and NBC Universal.

ABT celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Natalia Makarova's La Bayadère beginning Tuesday evening, May 18, with Diana Vishneva as Nikiya, Marcelo Gomes as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. On Wednesday evening, May 19, Roberto Bolle will make his ABT debut as Solor in La Bayadère, opposite Veronika Part as Nikiya. At the matinee on Saturday, May 22, Hee Seo will debut in the role of Gamzatti. Cory Stearns will debut as Solor on Monday evening, May 24, opposite Gillian Murphy as Nikiya. Conceived and directed by Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère is set to the music of Ludwig Minkus, arranged by John Lanchbery, and features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. La Bayadère is generously sponsored by an endowed gift from Drs. Philip and Marjorie Gerdine. La Bayadère is presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse. Additional support is provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

John Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias will be given its Company Premiere on Tuesday, May 25, danced by Julie Kent (Marguerite Gautier), Roberto Bolle (Armand Duval), Gillian Murphy (Manon Lescaut) and David Hallberg (Des Grieux). On Wednesday, May 26, Diana Vishneva, Marcelo Gomes, Veronika Part and Eric Tamm will debut in these roles at the matinee and Irina Dvorovenko, Cory Stearns, Stella Abrera and Blaine Hoven will lead the ballet for the first time at the evening performance. Set to music by Frédéric Chopin, Lady of the Camellias features scenery and costumes by Jürgen Rose with original lighting design by Neumeier, reconstructed by Ralf Merkel. Lady of the Camellias received its World Premiere by the Stuttgart Ballet on

November 4, 1978. Lady of the Camellias is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. This production is generously sponsored through an endowed gift from Ruth and Harold Newman. Lady of the Camellias is generously sponsored during the 2010 Spring Season by Mrs. Audre D. Carlin.

On Friday, May 28, Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella will lead the season's first performance of Don Quixote. Set to music by Ludwig Minkus, Don Quixote is staged by

Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, after choreography by Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky. This production was generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka K. Palitz, in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.

J.P. Morgan is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of Make a Ballet. American Airlines is ABT's Official Airline. Northern Trust is the Official Sponsor of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is the Official Sponsor of ABT II. Mandarin Oriental is ABT's preferred hotel. ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recovery Act, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre's 2010 Metropolitan Opera House season, priced $20-$111, are available online, at the Met box office or by phone at 212-362-6000. Performance-only tickets for the Opening Night Gala are priced at $28-$150. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City. For more information, visit ABT's website at

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