The Kennedy Center has engaged the Pennsylvania Ballet, one of the nation's leading classical dance troupes, to fill the first week of American Ballet Theatre's four-week tour, canceled last Sunday because of a contract dispute between dancers and the ABT management.

Martin Feinstein, the Kennedy Center's director of opera and ballet, announced in a letter sent to subscribers today that a their tickets will be honored during the Pennsylvania troupe's appearance Dec. 4-9. There will be no Sunday night performance, Feinstein said, and Sunday subscribers should exchange their tickets or return them for refund as soon as possible.

Tickets may be returned for refunds no later than 48 hours before the performance date, he said.

The Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Ballet, founded in 1964 by Barbara Weisberger, a student of George Balanchine, made its Washington debut in 1977.

The company's program will include the Raymonda Variations," choreographed by George Balanchine, the "Casella No. 1, 3, 4," by Choo San Goh, and the "Graduation Ball" by David Lichine, among others.

Feinstein said in the letter that he was still working on booking subsequent weeks of the ABT's canceled engagement, and asked subscribers to hold tickets for the week of Dec. 11-17 until further notice.