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Met Opera disbands its ballet company

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The Metropolitan Opera says it's decided to disband its resident ballet company.

The American Guild of Musical Artists said the eight remaining dancers of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet have accepted buyout packages.

The union, which represents the dancers, said the buyouts include $75,000 in severance and two additional years under the opera company's health and dental care plan.

The guild's associate executive director told The New York Times it was her understanding the Met wanted to reduce and restructure the ballet, but not get rid of it.

But Met General Manager Peter Gold described the ballet company as defunct. He said rather than use a resident company, the Met will hire dancers per production.

The Met has gradually reduced its ballet company.

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