Thursday, January 25, 2007

Suzanne Farrell in Tampa


She left her home in Cincinnati at to go to New York City and audition for the legendary George Balanchine. On her fifteenth birthday, she danced for him in a private audition – 2 days late she had a full scholarship to train at his School of American Ballet. By 16, she was a member of Balanchine’s acclaimed New York City Ballet. He created Meditation for her. He created Tzigane for her. He created Diamonds for her. He was her teacher and friend. She was his muse.

By the time she retired from the stage in 1989, Suzanne Farrell achieved a ballet career without precedent or parallel. During her 28 years on the stage, she danced a repertory of more than 100 ballets, nearly a third of which were created expressly for her by Balanchine and other choreographers, such as Jerome Robbins and Maurice BĂ©jart. Her autobiography, “Holding On to the Air”, was published in 1990 and has been reissued by the University Press of Florida. The film Suzanne Farrell – Elusive Muse was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997 as Best Feature Length Documentary.

A 2005 recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, Farrell now spends her time traveling the world as a repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust and as artistic director of her own Washington, D.C.-based company The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. She’s in Tampa this weekend at the Patel Conservatory auditioning young dancers for her summer intensive program Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell – a rare and enriching experience for the area’s dance students.

SuzanneFarrellin Diamonds

- Paul B.

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