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susan Jaffe


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I love the classical ballets the best, and I always loved Susan. I wrote her a love letter a few years back, so she invited me to visit her in her dressing room; that was very exciting. I thought that was a very gracious thing to do for me.

Iattended her final performance, and that was great. I would place Suzanne Farrell as number one oif all time and is there a sadder movie Than "Elusive Muse"? My wife and I were sobbing.

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I saw Susan Jaffee in Boston a few years ago and she was fantastic. I also saw Paloma Herrara when the ABT toured in Detroit. She was also terrific. What is Susan Jaffee up to lately?

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Ms. Jaffe is so nice! She came to see my school's Spring Production last year and she was so gracious to all the students, and fans who approached her for picture after picture, autograph after autograph. I saw her do Sugar Plum Fairy two, or three years ago (time slips by), and she spent 10 minutes talking to all of the people who waited for her backstage! During a dinner my school held about 10 years ago they were selling extremely old costumes from decades before and I got a character type shirt that was a piece of her costume. She is one of my favourites!! From what I see she is very gracious to all her fans.

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I also went to see her retirement performance of Giselle in June 2002. At first, I felt like I was going to a funeral, but it was really very nice. Especially the final ovation, which lasted for half an hour (I stayed for the whole thing). One thing that I think reflects her personality is that during that ovation, she made great effort not to step on the many individual flowers that were thrown on stage for her. I realized later that these were gifts from her fans, and she didn't want to step on them. I liked that.

She was hosting Dance New York on Channel 25 here in NYC for a time, but then the show repeated itself ad nauseum and she hasn't hosted recent installments (she's been replaced by Celia Ipiotis of "Eye on Dance"). I also notice that DanceMagazine doesn't seem to be involved with the show anymore, so something's happened.

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Susan Jaffe is amazing. She is my top idol. She was a beautiful dancer. She taught at a summer intensive I went to last summer and I was amazed. I look up to her so much. Im auditioning for her summer intensive at her new school and I am praying that I will make it. If I do I will be blessed.

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The last I heard was that Susan Jaffee was an artistic consultant at ABT and does commentary on a ballet show that you can only get in Manhattan.I too love Paloma of the incredibly fast spins.

Ahem!! There is more to New York C ity than Manhattan. Believe it or not the show can also be seen in the other four boroughs, and I suspect some New Jersey locales as well. B)

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Susan Jaffe is Co-Artistic Director of Princeton Dance & Theatre, still involved with ABT as well as other ballet related activities.

Her relationship with ABT & its' Dancers also brings many well known guest teachers to PDT.

She is an active teacher and teaches on a regular basis at PDT.

From a Dad's viewpoint she is very well liked by parents & students & is very approachable. :yes:

Edited by dadof2dancers
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In general an individual's income is private information, as it should be.

If Susan earns as much as you say, so be it.

If this is so, ABT obviously felt that what she brought to ABT both past

& present is worth this level of compensation.

What is right when it comes to income levels?

I certainly have bigger problems with many other

"artists" that earn absurd amounts of money, Michael Jackson,

Brittney Spears, J-LO, etc. & sports stars $5-10 million a year.

Come on!

Sure 6 figures is alot of money, but why shouldn't a dancer with a

career as significant as Susan's be rewarded for all that she has given

to the Ballet world?

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Guest ABTBluebird

susan jaffe has been my role model for I don't know how long. She tought at the si I went to, and she is the best teacher ever!!! lol just thought I'd share

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dadof2dancers, the reason why Jaffe's salary was brought up is because ABT has had financial problems. The topic came up in various threads about top administration leaving and negative reports on the company's finances and morale in the NY Times. The company also just lost a major donor in Movado. And when you work for a not-for-profit group, which ABT is, your salary is not private. I think I was the one who brought it up - it was in the newspaper stories, along with the salary of the new human resources director (who also was making six figures). I don't begrudge any dancer for making a good salary, but there was a question as to what she did in her position to warrant such a sum.

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Guest Daniella64

I LOVE Susan Jaffe, but I LOVE LOVE Suzanne Ferrell :thumbsup: I recently was at her companies performances at the Kennedy Center and they where selling The Elusive Muse but I did not have anough $ to buy it, I have read all her books and I want to see it soooo badly, does anyone know where I can buy it? Thanks!


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Danielle, the video often appears on Ebay both new and used. You can also check out Amazon .com by clicking on the banner at the top of this page and all the pages on Ballet Talk. They often have both used and new copies for sale. If you are under 18 ask your folks to help on bidding or ordering.

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Points well made, I was unaware of ABT's financial challanges

at this time & you are correct that as a "not-for-profit" salaries are public


My point was that I, as well many of us who have an interest in our

children's future as possible professional dancers would like to see

the financial reward be on par with other performers, athletes,

muscians, actors, etc.

We all know how hard dancers work.

Susan has truely given blood, sweat & tears to

the dance world & she (& many others) truely have earned

financial reward at this level.

Of course no individual in any organization should earn a salary

that could threaten the strength & stability of that organization.

ABT's Board of Directors must make that judgement.

Both in regard to Susan & any others.

Hopefully they make the correct decisions for ABT as well

as all Ballet lovers.

Edited by dadof2dancers
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I do not begrudge Ms. Jaffe the right to make a comfortable living that allows her to plan for her future, but I was under the impression that her position with ABT was considered part-time. (After all, isn't she running a studio and teaching, too?)

I have spent my most of my working life in the not-for-profit sector, and I know that equivalent jobs in the for-profit sector pay more. It's a choice I made about the nature of the reward I expect. Am I naive in assuming that for most others in n-f-p, the same is true?

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More good points, as a dancer this would be less of a concern but as an advisor

to the Board it should be very important to understand the "N-F-P mind-set".

Again, I say that perhaps the actual concern should be placed with ABT's

Board & what is perhaps not that best use of ABT's money

considering the company's financial condition.

I am sure that none of us are privy to Ms. Jaffe's level of hourly commitment to ABT or how her level of compensation was determined. If she was asked

by ABT's board to serve in an advisory role & the Board offered

her compensation that they now can no longer afford or justify

ABT's board needs to address this issue if they are truely

concerned about the welfare of the company.

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Another controversial aspect of Jaffe's salary is that it is paid jointly and privately by the ABT chairman of the board, Ranieri, and the board president, Neustein. Ranieri reportedly pays a lot of running expenses for ABT, and this is considered by critics to be putting too many financial eggs in one basket.

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Susan Jaffe is one of the greatest dance artists of the past 25 years. No one has danced more beautifully and expressively or worked harder. She is someone that has helped ABT reach the level of artistry and respect it has today. It really pains me to see the focus of this string be about her salary for her role at ABT. I do not know the details of her responsibility there but as an outsider that lives in the for profit world---I am sure it is worth every penny.

Separately, to the person who said it must be part time if she runs a studio and teaches; I would like you to know that Susan commutes from NY to PDT on Saturday and Tuesday evening. Lately she has been coming in another week night to rehearse the advanced students in Paquita for the Spring Workshop. You should see what she has been able to do with these students. Anyhow my point is that one can not judge her time commitment to ABT.

I am the parent of a student at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio. Ms. Jaffe and Risa Gary Kaplowitz have created an unbelievable studio where the kids receive awesome training in a nurturing environment. They are deeply committed to their students and help them be the best they can be whether they have professional aspirations or not. I pinch myself every day almost in disbelief that my child has the opportunity to go to this school and be their student.

Ms. Jaffe is a very giving artist that is committed to passing on what she has learned to her students. Please stop by the studio to see. You will be very welcome!!

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Your words are music to my ears MDT. Thank you. My dd will have the good fortune of attending Ms. Jaffe's first SI at PDT this summer. I am thrilled to hear all of these wonderful things about her teaching and her new studio. I also learned from PDT that Susan is bringing in her personal acting coach whom she's worked with for years for the last week of the SI for the students. This, combined with her own amazing credentials and talent, plus those of the guest faculty, should make for an amazing experience for these lucky ballet students. Thanks again for your feedback and information.

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We saw Susan Jaffe in Giselle here in Detroit a few years ago. The ABT danced it four times and we were at all four. The enduring image I have of that Giselle-athon is toward the end of Act I, when the hunting horn announces the entrance of the royal party. The nice peasant boy from down the street with whom Giselle has fallen in love is about to be unmasked as a Prince who is already betrothed.

Jaffe was Giselle. She inhabited the role on that night with transparent artistry. She nailed the feelings of a beautiful fragile young girl who knows love for the first time. The audience was spellbound.

And when that hunting horn sounded at least one member of the audience was dismayed, feeling "Oh no, she is going to be hurt."

Sounds silly to think that way but we were so caught up in Jaffe becoming Giselle that the person on stage became real.

We also saw her the next year when ABT brought Swan Lake to Motown. She was evil personifed as Odille--the swan you not only loved to hate but also hated to love, even though you did.

Amazing dancer. I feel lucky we were able to see her when we did.

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Susan Jaffe is such a wonderful and amazing dancer, teacher, and influence. I have the priveledge to be taught by her many times a week, since i attend Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio. She is such an amazing inspiration and her corrections are incredibly beneficial. She gives personalized attention to everyone and their needs, and i have seen my technique and artistry blossom over the past couple of months. I'd definitely recommend PDT...a fabulous school with fabulous faculty. I'd say that Susan Jaffe is one of the best ballerinas of all time.

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Over on the Replying the Nutcracker Chronicles - NY Times thread, papeetepatrick writes

I didn't see Jaffe in her earliest years of celebrity, but I do remember a good deal of criticism of her 'mechanicalness', I believe. Someone here who hasn't written for some time was discussing this once, how Jaffe made a conscious effort to 'mature', for lack of a better word, and that it had worked (I can't remember that BT member at the moment, I don't think she's written for a year or more).

I've heard the same thing and I wonder if others here also feel she matured. I didn't see her until she danced Mozartiana in D.C. in 1995 in a Suzanne Farrell staging, but I loved her in that. In The New Criterion Laura Jacobs wrote

The great performance in the two programs I saw belonged to the cast of Mozartiana, Balanchine’s masterpiece of 1981— his last—set to Tchaikovsky’s homage to Mozart. I’ve never much liked the dancing of Susan Jaffe, the principal with American Ballet Theater who took the lead in D.C. She is a technical powerhouse, and holds herself to high standards, but the very high curve of her forehead is bland and cold—she’s an ice angel. No doubt Farrell cast Jaffe in Mozartiana because of her strength. The ballet sets tests of stamina and balance, and asks for simple steps performed largely and slowly and roundly at once. [. . .]

Opening to the Preghiera, the prayer that begins the ballet, Jaffe opened to herself. Here was a warm, confident, honest performance, shimmeringly sure, touching in what it showed to have been inside Jaffe and in what Farrell knew she could bring out.

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