TBT: Suzanne Farrell Becomes a Balanchine Muse
Suzanne Farrell’s rise to ballet stardom happened with uncommon swiftness.
She auditioned for the School of American Ballet in August 1960—on her 15th birthday—and joined New York City Ballet’s corps the next fall. She almost immediately began stepping into lead roles, and in 1963 George Balanchine created his first ballet for her: Meditation, opposite Jacques d’Amboise.
Farrell quickly came to be publicly regarded as the choreographer’s muse, and, except for a gap from 1969 to 1975, she continued to work with him until the end of his life. In the January 1979 issue of Dance Magazine, she said, “I was made into a Balanchine dancer at fifteen. I will be a Balanchine dancer all my life.”
The choreographer gave her the copyrights to a number of his ballets, including Meditation and Don Quixote (in which she was memorably the Dulcinea to Balanchine’s Don), which she later staged for her eponymous company.