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Watch 3 Works Performed by Balanchine's Last Muse, Suzanne Farrell

Peter Martins and Farrell in Chaconne (1976), performed for PBS' "Great Performances." Photo courtesy of Dance Magazine archives

With her superb musicality, dramatic skills and go-for-broke speed and risk taking, Suzanne Farrell inspired Balanchine to push the limits of a dancer's physical capabilities. Together, the pair helped shift ballet into more creative, athletic and abstract territory.


"Diamonds" (1967)

As part of Balanchine's three-part plotless ballet Jewels, "Diamonds" was his tribute to imperial Russia and his early career with the Mariinsky Ballet. Farrell captured the elegance and majesty of Tchaikovsky's music with unparalleled grace and control during sustained balances on one leg, intertwining promenades and smooth supported lifts.


Chaconne (1976)

Balanchine showcased Farrell's softness and lyricism in an ethereal pas de deux full of floating arms and a gently wilting upper body. Later, as the music shifts to a more festive melody, Farrell's dynamism comes out in full force with punchy kicks, lightning-fast petit allégro and effortless turns en manège.


Mozartiana (1981)

This tribute to Mozart was the last ballet Balanchine created for Farrell before he died in 1983. With classical choreography set to stately music by Tchaikovsky, Mozartiana is regal and joyful. The piece's theme and variations highlighted Farrell's featherlight footwork, commanding épaulement and brilliant extension.

Teaching Tips
Courtesy Jill Randall

Fall may be fast-approaching, but it's never too late to slip in a little summer reading—especially if it'll make you all the more prepared for the perhaps crazier-than-usual season ahead.

Here are six new releases to enrich your coming school year:

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Sponsored by A Wish Come True
Courtesy A Wish Come True

Studio owners who've been in the recital game for a while have likely seen thousands of dance costumes pass through their hands.

But with the hustle and bustle of recital time, we don't always stop to think about where exactly those costumes are coming from, or how they are made.

If we want our costumes to be of the same high quality as our dancing—and for our costume-buying process to be as seamless as possible—it helps to take the time to learn a bit more about those costumes and the companies making them.

We talked to the team at A Wish Come True—who makes all their costumes at their factory in Bristol, Pennsylvania—to get an inside look at what really goes into making a costume, from conception to stage.

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Studio Owners

Jana Belot's 31-year-old New Jersey–based Gotta Dance has six studios, 1,720 students and, usually, 13 recitals. In a normal year, Belot rents a 1,000-seat venue for up to 20 consecutive days and is known for her epic productions, featuring her studio classes and Gotta Dance's pre-professional dance team, Showstoppers. Until March, she was planning this year's jungle-themed recital in this same way.

When the pandemic hit, Belot soon decided to do a virtual recital instead. Due to the scale of the production—300 to 500 dancers performing in each of the 13 shows—postponing or moving to an outdoor venue wasn't practical. (Canceling, for her, was out of the question.)

Unsurprisingly, Belot's virtual recital was just as epic as her in-person shows—with 10,000 submitted videos, animation, musicians and more. Here's how it all came together, and what it cost her.

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