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Suzanne Farrell

Published April 15, 2015

Suzanne Farrell
School of Dance
Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Suzanne Farrell is one of George Balanchine’s most celebrated muses and remains a legendary figure in the ballet world.

Ms. Farrell joined Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in the fall of 1961 after a year as a Ford Foundation scholarship student at the School of American Ballet. Her unique combination of musical, physical and dramatic gifts quickly ignited Balanchine’s imagination. By the mid 1960’s she was not only Balanchine’s most prominent ballerina, she was a symbol of the era, and remains so to this day. By the time she retired from the stage in 1989, Ms. Farrell had achieved a career that is without precedent or parallel in the history of ballet.

During her 28 years on the stage, she danced a repertory of more than 100 ballets, nearly a third of which were composed expressly for her by Balanchine (Diamonds, Chaconne, Mozartiana) and other choreographers, including Jerome Robbins and Maurice Béjart. 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 artist of her generation.

In 2001, Ms. Farrell founded her own company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, with a mission to ensure and preserve the Balanchine legacy. The Company was based at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and toured both nationally and internationally to great acclaim until its conclusion in 2017.

Ms. Farrell continues to serve as a guardian of the Balanchine legacy, as a repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust. She has staged Balanchine’s works for such companies as the Berlin Opera Ballet, The Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, and many other American companies.

A Krafft’s Professor at FSU’s School of Dance, Farrell has been a member of the faculty for more than 20 years.

Ms. Farrell’s career has garnered her prestigious awards including the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Kennedy Center Honors, National Medal of the Arts, Library of Congress Living Legend, Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, as well as Honorary Degrees from institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, Georgetown University, Notre Dame, University of Cincinnati, and Brandeis University.

Education and Training

  • New York City Ballet, 1975 to 1989
  • Maurice Nejart Ballet, 1970 to 1974
  • New York City Ballet, 1961 to 1969
  • School of American Ballet, 1960 to 1961
  • Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, 1953 to 1959


  • American Academy of Arts and Letters Award – NYC, 2009
  • John F. Kennedy Center Honors Award, 2005
  • National Medal of the Arts, 2003
  • Library of Congress Living Legend Award, 2000
  • Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, 3rd Street Music School Settlement-NYC, 1997
  • Honorary Doctoral Degree, Middleburg College, 1992
  • Honorary Degree, Univerisity of Cincinnati, 1990
  • Honorary Degree, Notre Dame, 1990
  • NYS Governor’s Arts Award, 1989
  • Honorary Doctoral Degree, Yale University, 1988
  • Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement, 1987
  • Honorary Degree, Fordham University, 1984
  • Honorary Degree, Georgetown University, 1984
  • Brandeis University Award for Creative Arts, 1980
  • The New York City Award of Honor for Arts and Culture, 1980
  • Dance Magazine Award, 1976
  • Award for Merit, Mademoiselle Magazine and the University of Cincinnati, 1965

Teaching Areas

  • Krafft Professor of Dance. GFS
  • Suzanne Farrell Young Dancers Workshop
  • Ballet I (DAA 3208)
  • Ballet II (DAA 3209)
  • Ballet III (DAA 4210)
  • Graduate Ballet (DAA 5218)
  • Special Topics in Dance (DAN4935)