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Balanchine Preservation Initiative

The Suzanne Farrell Ballet is dedicated to preserving and reconstructing the work of legendary choreographer George Balanchine.This commitment began in 2001 with the reconstruction of Variations for Orchestra and continued in 2005 with the production of Balanchine’s Don Quixote and the pas de deux from Clarinade.

In 2006, the Balanchine Preservation Initiative was formally established enabling The Suzanne Farrell Ballet to continue its commitment to bring “lost” and “rarely seen” Balanchine works to audiences around the world.Since its inception, the company has staged ten Balanchine Preservation Initiative ballets.

The following works from The Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s repertoire have been reconstructed as part of the Balanchine Preservation Initiative:

Balanchine's Don Quixote
A Ballet in Three Acts
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, May 28, 1965, New York State Theater, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: June 22, 2005, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
(Pas de Mauresque premiered December 5, 2003)
Music by Nicolas Nabokov
Choreography by George Balanchine
Set Design by Zack Brown
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by Brad Fields

“[Farrell’s] triumph here is that she has been able to reveal Balanchine’s work as he must have intended it.That’s her gift to him, and to us as well.”(John Rockwell for The New York Times)

“This enlightened restoration of the most neglected and personal of [Balanchine’s] full-length works is not just news but an experience that takes us deep into the soul of genius.” (Lewis Segal for The Los Angeles Times)

Ballade
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, May 8, 1980, New York City Center, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: November 23, 2007, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Gabriel Faure
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by Jeff Bruckerhoff

Ballade is a romance in motion – an affecting love story where the main heroine and her cavalier unite, part and reunite again, only to say goodbye for good.”(Ballet.co Magazine)

Contrapuntal Blues pas de deux from Clarinade
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, April 29, 1964, New York State Theater, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: November 22, 2005, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Morton Gould
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

The music was originally composed for the great Benny Goodman, who played the 1964 premiere. The original cast of dancers was Suzanne Farrell and Anthony Blum. The ballet is a lighthearted excursion into Balanchine’s easygoing, hip-swaying American soul.

“That jazzy duet – really a long, uninterrupted ballerina solo, while the man serves as a little-noticed support – is a gem.”(The Washington Post)

Adagio from Concierto de Mozart
World Premiere: Ballet of Teatro Colon, August 7, 1942, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Farrell Ballet Premiere: June 6, 2007, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

“The Adagio from this ballet, a lyrical pas de deux, epitomizes Balanchine’s words: ‘Dance is music made visible.’ Mozart’s delicate, tranquil melodies were immaculately reflected in the eloquent, exquisitely shaped steps of the dance.”(Ballet.co Magazine)

Danses Concertantes
World Premiere: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, September 10, 1944, City Center of Music and Drama, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: November 7, 2012, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by Jeff Bruckerhoff

“The 8 women and 4 men in this movement shine individually onstage while moving together, with wonderful extension in arabesque, quick hip pops, fast footwork, and inviting facial expression.”(DC Metro Theater Arts)

Divertimento Brillante (from Balanchine’s Glinkiana)
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, November 23, 1967, New York State Theater
Farrell Ballet Premiere: June 8, 2007, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

“This classical duet – a dazzling showcase for a ballerina – is a perfect example of the conventional Balanchine ‘tutu and tiara’ ballet. Here the ballerina is ‘the goddess, the poetess, and the muse.’ She is presented in all her splendor, clad in a sumptuous emerald costume and shiny diadem; and given the most elegant choreographic vocabulary: stately arabesques, exquisite turns and eloquent pirouettes.” (Ballet.co Magazine)

Haieff Divertimento
World Premiere: Ballet Society, Hunter College Playhouse, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: March 3, 2010, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by
Alexei Haieff
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

Thus far this ballet has only been performed by the New York City Ballet (most recently 1993) and Kansas City Ballet (most recently 1985).

“Balanchine created this lightly enigmatic piece in 1947 to Alexei Haieff’s 1944 Divertimento for small orchestra, which attractively uses several characteristics of Stravinsky’s lighter music from the 1930s; it features a lead man (the elegant, handsome and purposeful Kirk Henning), four supporting couples and a ballerina (Elisabeth Holowchuk, innocent and impulsive) who alternates between being happily central and tantalizingly elusive.” (The New York Times)

Pas Classique Espagnol
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, 1972, New York State Theater, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: November 20, 2007, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Nicolas Nabokov
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

Pas Classique Espagnol was added to Balanchine’s full-length Don Quixote in 1972, with revisions made in 1973 and 1978.

“Boldness…shot through ‘Pas Classique.’ It's a trademark of the Farrell dancers, and it's why her company's engagements always rank among the most anticipated events of the dance season.” (The Washington Post)

Pithoprakta
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, January 18, 1968, New York City Center, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: November 23, 2007, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Iannis Xenakis
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

Until, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet re-premiered this ballet in 2007, Suzanne Farrell was the only ballerina to ever perform the leading female role.The Farrell Ballet’s Elisabeth Holowchuk is the only dancer performing this role today.

“One viewing of George Balanchine’s Pithoprakta, from 1968, is hardly enough to begin untangling its marvelously thorny mysteries…The Iannis Xenakis score for which the dance is named is wonderfully dense and disorienting thicket of sound…Here is music as vertigo.Stand your ground if you can.” (The New York Time)

Ragtime
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, July 15, 1966, Philharmonic Hall, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: October 8, 2008, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

This pas de deux was created for Suzanne Farrell and Arthur Mitchell for the Philharmonic Hall’s 1966 Stravinsky Celebration.

“The dancers…catch little rhythmic figures with jolly hand-circlings, toe-tappings and other more intense evocations of the rag. Structured in conventional pas-de-deux fashion (duet; his solo; her solo; duet conclusion), its intensity builds until little leg-swings acquire intoxicating musical force.” (Alastair Macaulay for The New York Times)

Variations for Orchestra
World Premiere: New York City Ballet, July 2, 1982, New York State Theater, New York
Farrell Ballet Premiere: February 16, 2001, The Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Choreography by George Balanchine
Costume Design by Holly Hynes
Lighting Design by J. Russell Sandifer

This solo variation was the last ballet that Balanchine choreographed; created specifically for Suzanne Farrell.

“It’s a very imaginative piece of choreography that deserves to be danced far more often – I found myself thinking over and over, ‘I didn’t know you could do that!’”(Andre Yew for criticaldance.com)

A project of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, the Balanchine Preservation Initiative is produced with the knowledge and cooperation of The George Balanchine Trust. Performances of Balanchine ® Ballets are presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and are protected by copyright