Farrell to receive honorary degree from Adelphi UMay 20, 2011
Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:22 AM
By Adelphi University
Dated: Apr 21, 2011
Suzanne Farrell, celebrated ballerina, teacher, former New York City Ballet dancer, and founder and
artistic director of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet company, will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from Adelphi University.
Suzanne Farrell, celebrated ballerina, teacher, former New York City Ballet dancer, and founder and artistic
director of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet company, will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from
Adelphi University at its 115th Commencement on Friday, May 20, 2011. The ceremony will begin at
10:00 a.m. in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, NY.
During her 28 years on stage, Ms. Farrell was the most influential American ballerinas of the late 20th
century. After retiring from the stage in 1989, she emerged as one of the world's most inspiring ballet
teachers and directors. Since 1988 she has staged choreographer George Balanchine's works for a range of
European companies, including the Berlin Opera Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, and the Royal
Danish Ballet, as well as for companies throughout the United States. Since the fall of 2000, Ms. Farrell has
been a full-time professor in the dance department at Florida State University.
Ms. Farrell moved to New York City at the age of 15 to pursue a career as a ballet dancer, and spent a year
as a Ford Foundation scholarship student at the School of American Ballet. George Balanchine handpicked
her for his company, the New York City Ballet, when she was only 16, where she performed for nearly 10
years. After performing in Brussels, Belgium from 1970 to 1975, Ms. Farrell returned to the New York City
Ballet, where she performed for the remainder of her performing career. By the time she retired from the
stage in 1989, Ms. Farrell had achieved a career without precedent or parallel in the history of ballet.
During her nearly three decades of performance, she danced a repertory of more than 100 ballets, nearly a
third of which were composed expressly for her by various choreographers. Her numerous performances
with Balanchine's company (more than 2,000), her world tours, and her appearances in television and
movies have made her one of the most recognizable and highly esteemed artists of her generation. She is
also the recipient of numerous artistic and academic accolades.
In 2001, she created the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ own ballet company, The
Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Committed to carrying forth the legacy of George Balanchine through performances
of his classic ballets, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet announced the formal creation of the Balanchine
Preservation Initiative in February 2007, which serves to introduce rarely seen Balanchine works to
audiences around the world. The Initiative is produced with the knowledge and cooperation of The George
In addition to her work for the Balanchine Trust, Ms. Farrell is active in a variety of cultural and
philanthropic organizations such as the New York State Council on the Arts, the Arthritis Foundation, the
Professional Children's School, and the Princess Grace Foundation. Summit Books published her
autobiography, Holding On to the Air in 1990, and Suzanne Farrell – Elusive Muse (directed by Anne Belle
and Deborah Dickson) was an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Film in 1997.
Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:31 PM
Congratulations, Suzanne! I wish I could see it!
Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:26 AM
Does Adelphi have a dance research library with video tapes of performances? Is it open to the public?
My sister has a degree from AU, although not in dance - would she be able to access a library as an alumna?
The campus of AU is very beautiful. You must have enjoyed your time there.
Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:28 AM
Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:42 PM
You may have your wish, Marga, sort of: Poking around the Adelphi website, I found videos of previous commencements, so, in due course, we'll be able to hear and see what she has to say. Not the same as being there, but still...
... I wish I could see it!
Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:30 PM
[size="2"]I was just at Adelphi a couple of weeks ago while visiting my mom (I live in Canada) and was surprised to find yet another new building (Phys. Ed.), this one attached to Woodruff Hall which houses the Dance Department (and the phys.ed. dept.). Where the new building is, was where we dance majors sat on the wrought iron steps leading to the second floor studios, and where we had a patch of grass to relax on in nice weather. [/size]
Suzanne Farrell was in her early 20s then! Linus Pauling was our graduation speaker. Thanks, Jack, for the commencement info. I'll keep it in mind. I really do want to hear what she has to say. I truly hope today's grads will appreciate her speech.
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