Suzanne Farrell, Photo by Martha Swope Pictured: Suzanne Farrell as the Principal Dancer in George Balanchine's Scotch Symphony (1952), a role she took in 1964. Elizabeth Kendall writes that Farrell "thrilled audiences with the fearlessness, gravity, dignity, daring, and seemingly private spirituality of her dancing."(Photograph by Martha Swope. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.)


The great muse of Balanchine's last decades and a New York City Ballet star from the 1960s to 1980s, ballerina Suzanne Farrell (1945- ) received her early training in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was born. She attended the School of American Ballet on a Ford Foundation scholarship, and in 1961 joined the New York City Ballet. Leading roles quickly followed, and beginning in 1963 parts in numerous new ballets including Don Quixote, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Diamonds, Chaconne, Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze," and Mozartiana. Her amplitude, speed, and clarity left a deep imprint on NYCB ballerina style, as did her sensitive musicianship, and she was widely regarded as the outstanding interpreter of Balanchine style. Farrell appeared as a guest artist with the National Ballet of Canada and danced with Maurice Bejart's Ballet of the Twentieth Century from 1970 to 1974. Since retiring from the New York City Ballet in 1988, she has staged highly acclaimed versions of Balanchine works for companies around the world. She is the founder and artistic director of Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

Learn more in Suzanne Farrell, an essay by Elizabeth Kendall.



Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins in George Balanchine's Chaconne, recorded
in 1978 for Dance in America. Farrell's qualities as a dancer inspired the
choreography Balanchine created for her, including Chaconne. Martins was her
frequent partner.