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H. Cornejo injured; Sarabia guests with ABT to help fill-in.

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From ABT:

CAST CHANGES ANNOUNCED FOR FIRST TWO WEEKS OF

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S 2011 SPRING SEASON AT

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Due to injury, Herman Cornejo will not perform during the first two weeks of American Ballet Theatre’s 2011 Metropolitan Opera House, it was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Cornejo was scheduled to perform the leading role of Basilio in Don Quixote on Thursday, May 19 and Boy With Matted Hair in Antony Tudor’s Shadowplay on Tuesday evening May 24 and at the matinee on Wednesday, May 25. Guest Artist Rolando Sarabia will replace Cornejo in Don Quixote on May 19 and ABT Soloist Craig Salstein will dance the lead role in Shadowplay for Cornejo at both performances.

Rolando Sarabia was born in Havana, Cuba and began his dance training at the age of seven with his father Rolando Sarabia, Magaly Suarez, Alicia Alonso and Lázaro Carreño at the National Ballet School in Havana. He joined the National Ballet of Cuba in 1998 and was soon promoted to principal dancer. His numerous awards include the gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1998, the gold medal at the International Competition in Nagoya, Japan and the Grand Prix at the 1998 International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Sarabia left Cuba in 2003 and joined Houston Ballet as a principal dancer in 2006. He joined Miami City Ballet as a principal dancer in 2007. He currently appears with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami as a guest principal dancer.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2011 Spring Season marks Sarabia’s first appearance with the Company.

For more information on ABT’s Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, please visit www.abt.org.

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I wish Cornejo a quick and full recovery. I wish Sarabia was making his debut under happier circumstances, but it will be a great opportunity to see him dance.

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I wish Cornejo a quick and full recovery. I wish Sarabia was making his debut under happier circumstances, but it will be a great opportunity to see him dance.

Agreed. I see that instead of the Cornejo/Cojocaru Sleeping Beauty pas in the opening night gala she's listed for Rose Adagio.

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Sarabita's journey has been quite a rough one. I always thought that ABT was the company that he would be heading when he left Cuba. Obviously his dancing is not what it used to be 15 years ago when he started as a wonder boy due to many injuries, inconsistencies and absence of a solid home company, but when I saw his DQ here last year with the CCBM-(Lorena Feijoo as Kitri)-he could still pull out some of his old self and thrill the audience with his characteristics beautiful pirouettes a coup de pied with the extra final ronde de jambe-(his signature accent, for which he's a turner and a PARTENAIRE...not a jumper). Anyway...I really cross my fingers so this opportunity could lend to a happy long term outcome... :beg: (hint-hint).

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Poor Cornejo.

How nice for Craig, though, to be able to do Shadowplay, and it was great thinking on ABTs part to extend Cornejo's DQ spot to Sarabia. It seems like quite the Cuban fest at the Met this spring!

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How wonderful for the company to have Cornejo replaced by another ABT dancer rather than yet another guest.

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How wonderful for the company to have Cornejo replaced by another ABT dancer rather than yet another guest.

Nothing against Salstein, but I think that casting him instead of a guest was a matter of necessity. Unlike the old warhorse ballets where ABT could potentially find a quick guest replacement, I don't think many companies are performing Shadowplay. I'm guessing there is a very limited number of people who know the role and could perform it on short notice.

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According to the casting sheet in the lobby, Corella is replacing Cornejo as Reyes' partner in Giselle on June 1. I certainly wish Cornejo a speedy recovery, but I am THRILLED.

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