As one of George Balanchine’s muses, Suzanne Farrell’s mission has been to maintain the Maestro’s choreography in its original form. Her intimate contact with Balanchine has given her profound insight into the inspirations behind the known and little-known ballets he created, and she has deftly mounted these brilliant ballets for her company.
Using open and closed positions, unconventional ways of phrasing movement sequences, and an intrinsically unique way of handling corporal language and choreographic structure, Balanchine’s work is properly captured by only a small handful of companies. SFB is one of the most authentic of these companies, with Mr. B’s leading lady at the helm. With the Balanchine Preservation Initiative, Ms. Farrell has re-created the relatively obscure Pithoprakta, Divertimento Brillante, Ragtime, and Haieff Divertimento, among others. She has also revived the original staging of Apollo, in which she appeared in the 1960s. SFB focuses on Balanchine’s work, but also performs work choreographed by Jerome Robbins as well as Maurice Bejart, two artists that were highly influential in Farrell’s career.
SFB began as a group of Master Classes that Ms. Farrell gave in 1993 at the behest of Washington’s Kennedy Center. From here a summer program emerged, inspired by Farrell’s insights and ability to transmit Balanchine’s legacy, which liberated the parameters of classical ballet. Farrell recognized the need to keep the purity of Balanchine’s vision alive and began to formulate her ideas for a company, which was finally founded in 2006.
With over 50 ballets in its repertory, SFB performs every year at the Kennedy Center in addition to touring nationally and internationally.(Michele Kadison)
Suzanne Farrell Ballet Information
- Public Transportation: Very good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: The company performs annually at the Kennedy Center for one week
- Ticket Prices: Range from about $30 to $85. Discounts of 50% off are available to students, seniors (65+), military, disabled, and people on fixed incomes. Standing-room tickets are available if a show sells out. All ticket sales are final
- Group Discounts: Customized packages are available to groups of 20 or more.