Timeline about The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
In just over a decade, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet has evolved from an educational program of the Kennedy Center to a highly lauded ballet company, hailed by The New York Times' Chief Dance Critic as "one of the most courageous projects in ballet."
In 1993, the Kennedy Center invited Suzanne Farrell to lead a series of ballet master classes for students from the metropolitan Washington region. In 1995, this master class series transitioned into a three week summer intensive program titled Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell which attracts students from across the United States. Since 2003, the program has included international students from countries including Mexico, Japan, China, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, UK, and Switzerland. This intensive three-week program takes place each summer and remains a prestigious and well-known program for talented young dancers.
In the fall of 1999, Ms. Farrell directed the Kennedy Center's production Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th Century Ballet, taking cues from the masters of ballet with whom she studied.
In 2000, Suzanne Farrell staged Mozartiana on the Bolshoi Ballet as part of the Kennedy Center's Balanchine Celebration. She also assembled her own company to present Divertimento No. 15 at the festival. After earning rave reviews, the company went on to perform in early 2001 during Seven Days of Opening Nights at Florida State University, where Ms. Farrell is a tenured Eppes Scholar Professor in the Dance Department.
Since 2001, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet has performed annually at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and has toured both nationally and internationally. Notably, the Company accepted an invitation to perform as a tribute to Ms. Farrell, a 2005 Honoree, as part of the nationally televised Kennedy Center Honors Gala. To date the Company has over 60 ballets in its repertoire including works by Ms. Farrell's mentors George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, and Jerome Robbins. In June 2010, the Company participated in the Kennedy Center's Ballet Across America II festival.
In June 2005, the Company collaborated with The National Ballet of Canada to restage Balanchine's Don Quixote. The evening-length ballet was originally created in 1965 by George Balanchine specifically for Ms. Farrell and is unique to The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Prior to the June 2005 performance, this rare ballet had not been performed in twenty-five years. The Suzanne Farrell Ballet traveled to the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in 2006 to present this landmark revival marking the Company's first international engagement.
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet gave its debut performance at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 2006. In 2008, the Company performed as part of the First Annual Gettysburg Arts Festival (PA) and the esteemed Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center.
Committed to carrying forth the legacy of George Balanchine through performances of his classic ballets, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet formally created the Balanchine Preservation Initiative in February 2007. This initiative serves to introduce rarely seen Balanchine works to audiences around the world. Many of these works have not been performed in decades. The Initiative is produced with the knowledge and cooperation of The George Balanchine Trust. To date, the Company's repertoire includes eleven Balanchine Preservation Initiative Ballets including Ragtime (Balanchine/Stravinsky), Divertimento Brillante (Balanchine/Glinka), and Pithoprakta (Balanchine/Xenakis), and Danses Concertantes (Balanchine/Stravinsky).
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 partnered with The Sarasota Ballet to present Diamonds with a mission 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. In 2013, The Farrell Ballet traveled to Muscat, Oman to bring the work of Balanchine to the stage of the Royal Opera House, Muscat. This most recent trip marked the Company's third international appearance.
In October 2011, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet celebrated its 10th Anniversary of Kennedy Center Seasons. As a part of the anniversary celebration the Company traveled to New York City for a week of performances at The Joyce Theater followed by tours in Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Vermont.