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Farrell to receive honorary degree from Adelphi U

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Eminent Ballerina Suzanne Farrell to Receive Honorary Degree from Adelphi University

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

Balanchine Trust.

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.

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How exciting! My ultimate favorite ballerina receiving her honorary degree from the university where I earned a degree in dance, at a venue 10 minutes from my childhood home, whence I ventured into NY every weekend during those college years to see her dance!

Congratulations, Suzanne! I wish I could see it!

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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.

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puppytreats, I don't know whether Adelphi has developed such a library. It didn't have one in my years there (1965-1969). Hofstra had a better selection of dance books, if not videos. Perhaps the Adelphi website has information. Oh, yes, the campus is beautiful. I loved it even more when I attended and there were fewer buildings. We didn't even have a student union then. All dance performances were held in a charming old quonset hut.

:off topic: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.

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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