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ABT News

January 21, 2003


In a special exchange with Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theatre has invited Kirov Principal Dancer Diana Vishneva to perform as a guest artist during the 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season. Reciprocally, ABT Principal Dancer Julie Kent will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to perform with the Kirov at the Mariinsky Theatre. For ABT, Ms. Vishneva will perform the role of Juliet opposite Vladimir Malakhov in Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday evening, June 11, at the Metropolitan Opera House. Ms. Kent will perform the title role of Giselle with Kirov Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in late March.

Of the artists’ exchange, Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre, said, "This exchange of talent is an extraordinary opportunity for ABT to work with great artists and to display ABT’s own artistry in other parts of the world. It is an experiment I hope to continue in the coming years."

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Diana Vishneva graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy and joined the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov) Ballet in 1995. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1996. Her repertory with the company includes the title roles in Giselle and Manon, Kitri in Don Quixote, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Clemance in Raymonda. She has also danced leading roles in works by George Balanchine, including the third movement in Symphony in C, Terpischore in Apollo, Rubies in Jewels, and the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Among the many prizes and awards bestowed on Ms. Vishneva are the Prix de Lausanne in 1994, the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1995, the BALTIKA prize in 1998 and the Golden Mask, the highest theatrical prize of Russia, in 2001. She was named "Best in Europe" for 2002 by Dance Europe magazine.

American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Julie Kent joined ABT in 1985 as a member of the corps de ballet. She was promoted to Soloist in 1990 and to Principal Dancer in 1993. She has danced all of the leading ballerina roles in the Company’s repertory including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Her contemporary repertoire includes roles in Apollo, Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading, Mark Morris’ Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes, Clark Tippet’s Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, James Kudelka’s Cruel World and Twyla Tharp’s Americans We and The Brahms/Hadyn Variations. Ms. Kent has won many awards including the Prix de Lausanne in 1986 and the Erik Bruhn Prize in 1993. In 2000, she captured the Prix Benois de la Danse, the only American to have won this prize.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000. For more information, click here.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season is sponsored by UBS, ABT’s National Presenting Sponsor, and Movado Watch Company, a leading benefactor. ABT’s Spring season is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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