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Bolshoi Ballet Packing For Washington Tour

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) - The Bolshoi ballet company is to give guest performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington on February 21-25. The program of the guest tour has two ballets - last season's premier, Sergei Prokofiev's Cinderella, and the theater's trademark classic ballet Don Quixote by Leon Minkus, the Bolshoi press service told Interfax.

Cinderella was earlier performed in London and Baden-Baden, and the ballet company hopes for success in the United States. On the first night, Cinderella will be danced by Svetlana Zakharova. The ballet was choreographed specially for her by Yury Posokhov. Andrei Merkuryev, who previously danced at the Mariinsky Theater in St.Petersburg, will have his debut as the Prince.

Ivan Vasilyev and Natalya Osipova will likely surprise the American audiences. Vasilyev, 18, is the winner of several international competitions. Basilio has been his best part since he debuted on the Bolshoi stage last year.

"Osipova was the greatest sensation of the Bolshoi's summer guest performances in London. And the American audiences will soon have a chance to enjoy her dancing as Kitri," a Bolshoi spokesman said.

The theater's upcoming guest tour and its recent premiere - "An American Choreography Evening" were timed to mark the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States.

The guest performances will begin with an open rehearsal for a symbolic admission fee of $12. The rehearsal will take place at the Kennedy Center's Opera on February 21 and will last for two hours.