Defying Gravity

19 May 2011
Suzanne Farrell`s name is written with golden letters in the history of ballet together with that of legendary choreographer George Balanchinе. He created modern classical ballet and she was his muse. For a 30-year-long active career Suzanne had played 75 roles in 70 separate ballets. She visited our country to carry out the casting for her upcoming show Balanchine and Farrell- The American ballet for Bulgaria. She created the concept together with choreographers Catherine Posin and Momchil Mladenov and we will be able to see it on June 9, 10 and 11. We took the opportunity to meet her in person and show you the un-hollywood face of ballet.

What are your first impressions of Bulgaria?
I`ve only been here once but at that time I only saw the studio, so my first impressions are of the dancers. I spend a lot of time in the rehearsal hall, that`s my mission. The most important things take place there. This time however I will be able to see more of Bulgaria. I like the tomatoes, we don`t have such tomatoes.

What brought you here for the first time.
I stayed here for about 24 hours, 7 or 8 years ago. I had to do another casting. I invited 3 students to come to the States with me. Two of them are part of the group now, they are good dancers. Still, the popular saying that you can`t play hockey without ice applies perfectly to the Bulgarian dance school. Dancing needs to be danced to perfection.

After such a long career as yours is there anything else you can learn about dancing?
Yes, when you teach, you definitely start to see ballet in to detail. You constantly try to make things better and better, you always develop. We need to be faster. Slow motion is easy, but if you`re faster, you can absorb more music. Fast music is extremely exciting for a dancer. When I was young Balanchine always demanded that we outdance ourselves.

When do you get tired?
When it`s hard, it`s really hard. Then we learn to do it and it is easy. I see that the dancers understand the techniques, they`re versatile and this gives me energy and I cannot get tired. The more you give, the more you give. The more energy you use, the more energetic you become.

Do you feel the same enthusiasm in your students?
I`m here for them. I hope they become better! I give everything I can, honestly, otherwise I wouldn`t be a good teacher. They are wonderful people but they think that I am only looking for technique, while I`m after individuality.


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