NYCB does not release casting until Wednesday of the previous week - similar to most companies. Even then, casting can change due to injury, illness or other issues. In fact, I saw one performance of 'The Nutcracker', where Joaquin de Luz did the Candy Cane solo, but the didn't appear in the finale.
Most companies don't post casting months ahead of time like ABT because - it's very risky. As has happened many times at ABT, a dancer will get injured or be ill or get pregnant, and be unable to dance. And then people who have bought tickets get upset because they're not seeing the originally posted cast.
Casting is really a tricky business - almost always, if one dancer gets hurt or sick, it affects other casting and other ballets. There's a million and one issues involved, especially when a company is rehearsing and/or performing more than one ballet at the same time. Which is why most companies prefer not to release casting very far ahead of time - and generally only post principal casting.
As to the Nutracker:
Nutcracker tickets can sell out quickly for certain performances, especially since they've already gone onsale. Matinees tend to sell out first, then Thursday and Friday evenings. The performances are at odd times too, I guess to cater to the younger members of the audience.
Starting on Sept. 26, 2005 ticket availability will be posted here: http://www.nycballet.com/nycballet/html ... ility.html
I think what it comes down to, if you really want to see Joaquin De Luz, you'll have to wait until a week before the performance to see the cast list (at www.nycballet.com
), and then hope that tickets are still available for the performance (Often, even if the chart shows it's sold out, there can be tickets available at the box office). Even then, there's no guarantee - casting isn't a sure thing until the dancer is on stage in the ballet!