The Eliot Feld Ballet, the most prestigious chamber-sized ballet troupe in the country, will make its Kennedy Center debut in an eight-performance engagement at the Opera House from Christmas evening through the following Sunday, Center officials announced yesterday.

The Feld appearance, like the current Pennsylvania Ballet visit, is another consequence of the cancelled American Ballet Theatre season. Arrangements with Feld were concluded yesterday when ABT management released the final two of its scheduled four weeks, due to the "continuing impasse" in its contractual negotiations with its dancers.

This will be the first time the Kennedy Center has been without a "Nutcracker" season since 1976, when Mikhail Baryshnikov introduced his version of the Yuletide classic for ABT.

The New York-born Feld, 36, was seen here as a dancer and choreographer with ABT during the early years of the Kennedy Center. His present 21-member company, the second he has founded and directed, was established in 1974, and performed every summer since its founding -- until this year -- at Wolf Trap.

The troupe's Kennedy Center repertoire will include Feld's latest ballet, "Papillon, " to the music of Offenbach, as well as eight of his other works: "Harbinger," "Intermezzo," "A Footstep of Air," "The Consort," "Half-Time," "The Gods Amused," "La Vida," and "A Soldier's Tale."