- Category : 1945-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (9,19,42,55,60)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Revolution 2
American professional ballet dancer accepted at 15 as a member of the New York City Ballet and protégé of director George Ballanchine, who became enchanted and obsessed with her. He trained, pampered and molded her, promoting her to soloist by 1965. Farrell became the Ballanchine ballerina par excellence, creating roles and working with the master in choreographing roles. Ballanchine was obsessed with her and fascinated by her gifts, but she stated that they were not lovers.
"As a child, I needed to move all the time," she says of her introduction to dance at the age of eight. A tomboy, she liked acrobatics and discovered dance while tagging along with her sister to lessons. By 12, she had already won a scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York. At 18, she had her big break by replacing the star who fell ill on opening night of Stravinsky's "Movements for Piano and Orchestra. A mere nine months later, Ballanchine presented her in "Meditation," the first of 23 ballets he created for her.
In 1969, after she married solo dancer Paul Mejia, tension developed between Ballanchine and Mejia. Ballanchine had wanted to marry her and the stress on the set caused the two dancers to leave the NYC Ballet in 1970. For five years they worked in Europe where Farrell became the top dancer of the Ballet of the 20th Century, creating roles with Bejart, before returning to the American ballet. Farrell danced over 2,000 performances with the New York City Ballet and won international renown as a ballerina of unique virtuosity. By 1987 Mejia was director of the Chicago City Ballet, and Farrell had retired due to a nagging hip injury that caused unbearable pain. They later divorced.
After undergoing radical hip surgery to replace an arthritic hip in October 1985, she returned gloriously to the stage on 1/27/1988, dancing to a packed house. Having made both ballet and medical history, her feat was recognized by an audience who applauded thunderously. In 1989, she stepped away from the stage to instruct a new generation of dancers in the Ballanchine tradition. A ten-city road trip of her new production was introduced at the Kennedy Center in 1999, "Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th Century Ballet." At 54, she still looks perfectly capable of donning toe shoes and filling in for any of the women in her 16-member company.
While insisting that her relationship with Ballanchine, over 40 years her senior, did not include sex, Farrell reported conflicting emotions toward the legend who both nurtured and smothered her.