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Susan Jaffe

Guest Choreographer, Dance in the Lewis Center for the Arts

Declared by the New York Times as “America’s Quintessential American Ballerina” Susan Jaffe danced as a Principal ballerina with American Ballet Theatre for 22 years. She joined ABT in 1980 at the invitation of Mikhail Baryshnikov and became well known in the dance world at a young age. Since then, she not only mastered the classics but also worked with and performed the works of many of the 20th century’s most prominent choreographers such as George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Jiri Kylian, Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Jerome Robbins, Roland Petit, and Nacho Duato.

Prominent on the international stage as well, Ms. Jaffe guest appearances included performances for The Royal Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The Stuttgart Ballet, The Munich Ballet, The Vienna State Opera Ballet, The Kirov Ballet, La Scala, and The English National Ballet.

One month after her retirement at American Ballet Theatre in 2002, Ms. Jaffe was invited back to become the advisor to the Chairman and the President of the Board of Governing Trustees. She also serves as the artistic coordinator of the Youth America Grand Prix, as well as the Chairman of the Artists Committee of “The All-Stars”, a group that helps underprivileged children develop learning skills through performance.  

In the year 2003 she hosted “Dance New York”, the weekly local TV show co-produced by Dance Magazine and WNYE-TV Channel 25.  Other television appearances include several “Dance in America” programs, while her film credits include “Angie” with Geena Davis (1994), as well as “Ballet”, a documentary directed by Frederick Wiseman (1995).

Also in 2003 Ms. Jaffe founded Princeton Dance and Theater Studio in Princeton, NJ where she teaches and choreographs. Along with teaching for American Ballet Theatre and giving corporate lectures for PriceWaterHouseCoopers and Lehman Brothers, Ms. Jaffe has staged and choreographed her own works. Her choreographic and staged achievements to date include the full length “Nutcracker” Sleeping Beauty Act lll” “Raymonda Divertessments” and her own original choreography “Pop Sonata” “ Velez Pas de Deux”  “UnCaged” for Texas Christian University and “Royenne Pas de Deux” and “Novem Pas de Deux” for Configurations Dance Theater.

Campus Address

Lewis Center for the Arts
185 Nassau Street

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