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Repertory Archive

Susan Jaffe


Biography

Declared by The New York Times as “America’s Quintessential American Ballerina”, Susan Jaffe danced as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 20 years. Prominent in the international dance scene as well, her European engagements included performances with The Royal Ballet, The Kirov Ballet, The Stuttgart Ballet, The Munich State Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet in Milan, The Vienna State Opera Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, and The English National Ballet.

Jaffe’s versatility as a dancer allowed her to tackle a large range of choreographic works. This not only included her acclaimed interpretations of the classics like Swan Lake, but also the dramatic works of John Cranko, Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille and Kenneth MacMillian. She also worked with and danced the works of many prominent choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Lar Lubovitch, Nacho Duato, Roland Petit, David Parsons, Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, Ronald Hynd, Frederick Ashton, Ulysses Dove and Lynn Taylor Corbett.

In 2003, one year after her retirement from the stage, Jaffe co-founded the Princeton Dance & Theatre Studio in Princeton, New Jersey.  Jaffe has also taught Corporate Lectures on “Excellence” in conjunction with Duke Corporate Education for Lehman Brothers, and PriceWaterHouseCoopers

Jaffe’s choreographic credits include The Nutcracker, Pop Sonata, Ballet Studies, Tarantella, Glass Cuts, Carnival of the Animals and the Cancan.  Jaffe has also choreographed residencies at Texas Christian University; where, in 2008, she choreographed UnCaged, and Princeton University, where, in 2009, she choreographed, Pulse.  She also has choreographed for professional companies, Meditations UnCaged for Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, and Novem Pas de Deux, Velez Pas de Deux, and Royenne for Configuration Dance Theatre, as well as for the 2009 Gala for Youth America Grand Prix in New York City where she choreographed a pas de deux for Isabella Boylston and Blaine Hoven of American Ballet Theatre called Sonato.

In September 2010, Jaffe joined the roster of American Ballet Theatre once again, now in the role of Ballet Mistress. In 2003, Jaffe wrote a children’s book, Becoming a Ballerina for children ages 7-13.  In December 2010 she received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Texas Christian University.