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Ballet Theatre to Return to Music Center

Times Music Writer

After eight years of dancing at Shrine Auditorium on its annual West Coast visits, American Ballet Theatre will return to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center for its next Los Angeles engagement in July, 1990, the company announced Thursday.

Charles Dillingham, executive director of ABT, declined to disclose specific reasons for the return, but sources close to the company said the move was a result of the combination of the public’s preference for the Music Center and the fact that the dancers feel they look better at the Music Center.

As part of its 50th anniversary season, ABT will perform at the Music Center facility for two weeks July 31-Aug. 12. Preceding that engagement, the company will dance in San Diego.

As already announced, ABT will return for a two-week spring season at the Orange County Performing Arts Center March 6-18, 1990, before making its annual visit to the Kennedy Center in Washington in April.

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Dillingham said that the ballet troupe is carrying on “further conversations” with the L.A. Music Center management regarding future visits to the Pavilion, “depending on the schedule there.” He said he could not rule out a return to Shrine Auditorium, where ABT danced from 1982 until this year.

Ballet Theatre played its first Pavilion engagement in the spring of 1968, returning there, after a year’s hiatus during which it did not visit Los Angeles at all, in 1970. The company then danced at the Music Center every year until 1981.

In a prepared statement, Charles I. Schneider, chairman of the board of Music Center Operating Co., said that the Music Center is “delighted to welcome back American Ballet Theatre . . . ABT’s return is a wonderful addition, indeed, to the stellar dance offering by the Joffrey Ballet, the Music Center’s resident dance company.”

Shrine Auditorium officials were not available for comment.

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