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NYCB Vol. 8 No. 4 - Diamonds

In Suzanne Farrell’s autobiography, Holding on to the Air (affiliate link) she talks about a moment at the end of the Diamonds pas de deux with Jacques d’Amboise:

“Throughout the previous ten minutes there had been a glorious blend of victory and surrender between Jacques and me, of leading and following, initiating and receiving. It is a dance full of the paradoxical tensions between a man and a woman, but its beauty lies not in rivalry but in submission; “Diamonds” is about the majesty of service and the glory of humility. And so Balanchine had Jacques drop to one knee beside me in the final pose and, with head bowed, kiss my hand.”

Below view Jacques coaching the poignant kiss in 2014 with Lesley Rausch & Jerome Tisserand of Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Suzanne Farrell and Jacques d’Amboise in Diamonds. Photo by Gjon Mili, 1969 for LIFE Magazine.

Lesley Rausch and Jerome Tisserand are coached by Jacques d’Amboise.


Suzanne wrote about her Diamonds headpiece: “At one point I did a certain step and finished with a leg and an arm in a position that prompted Mr. B to say, ‘Wonderful, you look like an arrow shooting through the air.’ This was a comment, not a command or even a request, but the image stuck in my mind, and the “arrow” started making its way, unforced and unchoreographed, into the pas de deux. At another moment I was upstage left in sous-sus on pointe, about to run to Jacques across the stage, and knowing what a beautiful headpiece I would be wearing, I thought, ‘I’ll model my headpiece,’ and held one hand gently behind the back of my head with the other arm extended as if I had just shot an arrow from my invisible bow.” —Holding on to the Air by Suzanne Farrell (affiliate link)

(left) Suzanne Farrell in Diamonds. Photo by Fred Fehl, 1967.

(right) Suzanne fixes headpiece during a costume fitting.

Balanchine and Karinska in background. Photos by Martha Swope.

Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins in Diamonds, 1977. WNET Dance in America

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