I think it wasn't responsible, even if it was possible, to think about NYCB without reference to Farrell, while she was there. It's not exactly that Farrell set the standard, but if anything, she happened to exemplify Balanchine's... approach. (I was going to say his philosophy.)
You could say that Balanchine chose Farrell to set that standard and exemplify his approach. Which is not to take anything from McBride, but she didn't hold that kind of symbolic role in the company or the Balanchine repertory, as important as she was to both.
McBride was Edward Gorey's favorite ballerina.
I hope the question isn't impertinent, but do you know this from having spoken with Gorey, or do you have it from a member of his circle of devotees who sat with him during intermissions, or---? He *was* devoted to McBride, I'm sure, but in interviews gives the impression of being no less devoted to Allegra Kent. He also mentions Diana Adams, on occasion, and---less frequently---Jillana, Helgi Tomasson, and Maria Calegari. In any event, I only know this from interviews with McBride, Jillana, Villella, Peter Anastos, and others, and from burrowing deep into his interviews. Curious to know if he or someone told McBride was his favorite.