The season, which runs from May 23 to July 16, 2005, also includes a evening-length celebration of the works of Michel Fokine, one of ABT's founding choreographers.
Sylvia, set in ancient Greece, is the story of a chaste nymph who cannot return the affections of the shepherd who loves her, until the god Eros intervenes. The ballet, with a score by L_o Delibes, had its premiere in 1952 by the Royal Ballet in London, where Ashton was the founding choreographer. Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes, and Alexander Grant danced the lead roles. Sylvia has not been performed since 1965.
The revival, staged by former Royal Ballet dancer and ballet master Christopher Newton, uses the original costume designs of Christopher and Robin Ironside (with additional designs by Peter Farmer). The revival's world premiere takes place November 4 at Covent Garden.
The Fokine celebration features four works: the New York revival premiere of Petrouchka, the New York company premiere of Polovtsian Dances, Les Sylphides, and Le Spectre de la rose.
ABT also announced two guest artists for its spring season. Carlos Acosta, a principal guest artist with the Royal Ballet in London, and Diana Vishneva, a principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet, will both be principal dancers with ABT for the Metropolitan Opera House season.
The season also includes Don Quixote, Raymonda, and Le Corsaire. Alessandra Ferri, in her 20th season with ABT, will dance the title role of Giselle, opposite Julio Bocca; the company will pay tribute to her at the July 15 performance.