Holding on to the air: an autobiography

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Summit Books, 1990 - Biography & Autobiography - 322 pages
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By the time she retired from the stage in 1989, Suzanne Farrell had achieved a career that is without precedent in the history of ballet. This memoir, first published in 1990 and reissued with a new preface by the author, recounts Farrell's transformation from a young girl in Ohio dreaming of greatness to the realization of that dream on stages all over the world. Central to this transformation was her relationship with George Balanchine, who invited her to join the New York City Ballet in the fall of 1961 and was in turn inspired by her unique combination of musical, physical, and dramatic gifts. He created masterpieces for her in which the limits of ballet technique were expanded to a degree not seen before. In Holding On to the Air Farrell recalls professional and personal attachments and their attendant controversies with a down-to-earth frankness and common sense that complement the glories and mysteries of her legendary artistic achievement. Book jacket.

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Holding on to the air: an autobiography

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The dance world has been waiting to hear Farrell's story ever since this noted ballerina retired from the New York City Ballet in 1989, six years after the death of NYCB director George Balanchine ... Read full review


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About the author (1990)

Farrell is a professor of dance at Florida State University in Tallahassee, she also teaches a summer ballet course at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Toni Bentley danced with George Balanchine's New York City Ballet for ten years. She is the author of Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography (by Suzanne Farrell with Toni Bentley), Costumes by Karin-ska and Sisters of Salome, all of which were New York Times Notable Books. She has written articles for numerous publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Allure, and Rolling Stone.

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