Suzanne Farrell Ballet Will Say Good-Bye in 2018

September 21, 2016

The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, announced yesterday that its resident ballet company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, will close at the end of its 2017–18 season. Although the news comes more than a year in advance, it is part of a larger change the organization is preparing for: an expansion of the Kennedy Center set for the 2018–19 season. At that time, Suzanne Farrell will transition from artistic director into resident teaching artist. Farrell is sure to bring her years of expertise as both a muse to George Balanchine and a preserver and presenter of his works. Though few specific details about this new role have been released, she will help create programs for the expanded Center.

Farrell rehearsing dancers Natalia Magnicaballi and Michael Cook. Courtesy Kennedy Center.

Since 2001, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet has had annual seasons at the Center and has shared Balanchine’s masterworks with audiences nationally and abroad. The company has also been a draw for many dancers—its part-time schedule gives artists who are members of other troupes (like Ballet Arizona’s Natalia Magnicaballi and Richmond Ballet’s Valerie Tellmann-Henning) the opportunity to work with the ballerina behind Mr. B’s “Diamonds,” Chaconne and Mozartiana during their layoff time.

Farrell, who’s been teaching at the Kennedy Center since 1993, said in a statement, “I love to teach, have always evolved as an artist and I live in the now.” Losing her presence at the helm of a professional company will be a true loss for the dance world.

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