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Suzanne Farrell Ballet Plans to Close After 2017-18 Season

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I'm very sorry to hear this.  The few times I saw her company it seemed to me that while there were weaknesses, there was always wonderful musicality and freshness to the dancing.  I wonder what the nature of her teaching will be.

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I'm sorry to hear this, but it's so hard to run a small ballet company as she has been running this one.

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Oddly (that is, an odd coincidence for me) I have tickets to see her company this year for the first time in many years--I'm looking forward to it.

 

If/as she wishes, I hope she continues staging Balanchine even once the company folds.

Edited by Drew

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It is sad to learn of this, though not a complete surprise. To me, some of her most important work is done as a repetiteur, and so I wonder if that is going to come to an end in favor of more general teaching in ballet technique.

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

It is sad to learn of this, though not a complete surprise. To me, some of her most important work is done as a repetiteur, and so I wonder if that is going to come to an end in favor of more general teaching in ballet technique.

 

I hope that she spends most of her time coaching, either for performance, or for the Balanchine archival projects.  I'm sure she's an excellent teacher, but she's a unique coach and stager.

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

It is sad to learn of this, though not a complete surprise. To me, some of her most important work is done as a repetiteur, and so I wonder if that is going to come to an end in favor of more general teaching in ballet technique.

 

I doubt it.  We have the example here of Ballet Chicago, basically a school, whose technique classes I rarely see, but whose Spring shows - sometimes including guest artists, sometimes alumni - I happily watch here.  It is run by Daniel Duell, who danced for Balanchine in his New York City Ballet, and his wife, Patricia Blair, who danced for Edward Villella when he ran the Eglevsky Ballet on Long Island, and among the teachers and in-house choreographers is Ted Seymour, who sometimes dances with TSFB as well as in BC's shows.  Duell and Blair are devoted to Balanchine's ways; Farrell could hardly be less devoted. 

 

Those shows are largely made up of Balanchine's ballets - his ballets, not just his steps - performed in fairly authentic fashion, as far as I can tell, set by Duell or Blair or Balanchine Trust stagers such as Sandra Jennings; and the advanced classes include long excerpts and movements from Balanchine's ballets.  (As a supporter of the school, I once had the privilege of watching Seymour demonstrate the differences between traditional, classical technique and Balanchine technique; BC emphasizes Balanchine technique.) 

 

There is also the Washington Ballet in Washington, DC; I don't know what their relationship is to TSFB, although their performance calendar looks typical in featuring mostly contemporary ballet repertory.

 

Yes, I'm shocked and saddened, though not surprised.  Some think that what Farrell was doing was too sophisticated for Washington, DC, although I sat next to people who, apparently having bought a ballet series ticket, said things like, "I'll miss this troupe; it's all-Balanchine, and Balanchine is the best." 

 

This is a real loss, because Farrell's Balanchine looks even more like Balanchine's Balanchine than Ballet Chicago's.  (Should I add here that I watched hundreds of performances of NYCB under his direction, during his last fifteen years, because I had to?  I discovered that if I didn't, I felt something was missing from my life.  But watching NYCB during the last thirty years does nothing for me, so I rarely do.)

 

But it's not all just for us spectators: Several years ago, kfw and I and others attended a panel in Washington where several dancers were asked what it was like to work with Farrell.  Natalia Magnicaballi, who danced first with TSFB before joining Ballet Arizona, described what sounded typical for a dancer's work, and then her voice thickened: "I love her," she said, "She gave me my life." 

 

Maybe this will continue in the studio, but her dancers will not be giving us so much of our life.

 

I expect her to teach Balanchine technique in greater depth than BC does, if anything; not just how to listen to move the body, but to know why:  If you look where you're going, she might say to a dancing girl being lifted into the wing, you'll tell the audience what's going to happen.  Face front [as the girl had before the lift began] and surprise them.

 

We need that quality of  surprise.

 

Edited by Jack Reed

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11 hours ago, maps said:

The Washington Post has an article providing more insight into this closure.  I shall miss this company.  The KC is expanding with more studio space.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/suzanne-farrell-ballet-to-disband-in-2017/2016/09/21/c9877a2e-8025-11e6-b002-307601806392_story.html 

 

Thank you maps.  Interesting but vague.  I still wonder who she will be teaching

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