Suzanne Farrell Ballet
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet is a ballet company housed at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., and founded in 2000 by Suzanne Farrell, one of George Balanchine's most celebrated ballerinas, and a former New York City Ballet principal dancer. Today, the ballet is a full-fledged company produced by the Kennedy Center and has performed there since 1999 and has been on extensive national and international tours.
In 1993 and 1994, the Kennedy Center offered two series of ballet master classes for students with Farrell. In 1995, the Center expanded the program to a national level. This three weeks long yearly initiative of intense study grew into a full-fledged program, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. Students from the Exploring Ballet program have started to join the ranks of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet.
The company made its debut in the fall of 1999 during the Kennedy Center's Balanchine Celebration, performing Divertimento No. 15. Later, in the fall of 1999, Ms. Farrell received critical acclaim for the successful Kennedy Center engagement and East Coast tour of Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th Century Ballet. Following the Kennedy Center's debut, the newly named Suzanne Farrell Ballet, a group of professional dancers hand selected by Ms. Farrell,.
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet opened the Kennedy Center's ballet season in the fall of 2001 with nearly two weeks of performances in the Eisenhower Theater – featuring no less than six company premieres. The company was again seen at the Kennedy Center in the fall of 2002, performing, among other works, company premieres of Balanchine's Chaconne, Raymonda Variations, Who Cares?, and Canadian choreographer Anthony Morgan's A Farewell to Music.
Following an extensive Fall 2003 U.S. tour that, for the first time, took them to the West Coast, the company opened the Kennedy Center's 2003–2004 ballet season with a full week of performances in the Eisenhower Theater. The week included performances of Mozartiana, Serenade, Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux and Tempo di Vals from George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, as part of the 2003 Kennedy Center Tchaikovsky Festival, plus The Balanchine Couple. In June 2005 the company collaborated with the National Ballet of Canada to present the first staging of Balanchine's Don Quixote in more than 25 years. The evening-length ballet was created by George Balanchine specifically for Suzanne Farrell.
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet kicked off the 2005–2006 ballet season at the Kennedy Center with an all Balanchine program featuring Duo Concertant, La Source, La Valse and the Contrapuntal Blues pas de deux from Clarinade. In the summer of 2006 the company performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival as well as at the Edinburgh International Festival with the European premiere of Balanchine's Don Quixote.
The company returns to the Kennedy Center Opera House in June 2007 with two programs, which include Balanchine's Scotch Symphony (Mendelssohn), Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (Rodgers, orch. Kay), and Mozartiana (Tchaikovsky), and Béjart's Scène d'amour from Romeo and Juliet (Berlioz), as well as the Washington, D.C. premieres of two newly re-staged works which have not been seen in forty years: Balanchine's Divertimento Brillante (Glinka) and the Adagio from Concierto de Mozart (Balanchine).
Committed to carrying forth the legacy of George Balanchine through performances of his classic ballets, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet announced the formal creation of the Balanchine Preservation Initiative in February 2007. This initiative serves to introduce rarely seen or "lost" Balanchine works to audiences around the world. Many of these works have not been performed in nearly forty years. The Initiative is produced with the knowledge and cooperation of The George Balanchine Trust. To date, the Company's repertoire includes ten Balanchine Preservation Initiative Ballets including Ragtime (Balanchine/Stravinsky), Divertimento Brillante (Balanchine/Glinka), and Pithoprakta (Balanchine/Xenakis).
In November 2007, the Company launched an Artistic Partnership outreach program. Showcasing her teaching gifts Suzanne Farrell brought together her Company and Cincinnati Ballet, a nationally recognized company from her hometown, to present Chaconne. In 2008, the company selected Ballet Austin as an artistic partner and presented Episodes. In 2011, the company will partner with The Sarasota Ballet to present Diamonds in Washington, DC (Oct 2011)], Sarasota, FL (Nov 2011), and Clearwater, FL (Nov 2011). The mission of this initiative is to salute, support, and galvanize ballet companies throughout the United States.
In June 2010, the Company traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, to perform Agon in a shared evening with the National Ballet of Bulgaria in a program titled "Balanchine and Farrell: American Ballet for Bulgaria" presented by Cultural Bridges Association. This trip marks the Company's second international appearance.
In October 2011, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet celebrates 10 years of annual engagements at the Kennedy Center. As a part of the anniversary celebration the Company will travel to New York City for a week of performances at The Joyce Theater followed by touring in Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
- "The Suzanne Farrell Ballet". Kennedy-center.org. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Wall Street Journal, Robert Greskovic, October 19, 2011
- NY Times, Alastair Macaulay, October 20, 2011
- Broadway World, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet Makes Joyce Debut, October 23, 2011