('Annotations of a reader past': a new category excerpting passages marked by the unknown prior owner of a used book)
If there was a sense of futility about this great love, a sense of it being an impossible vision, I didn't feel it. When I danced, the romance, the tenderness, the embraces, and the caresses were full-blown, full-blooded passion. They were, after all, the first time I had ever been embraced, caressed, needed, wanted, and loved as a woman, and nothing could have been more real to me. It was only in my coming and going that I was elusive, while together our love was unquestionable.
My favorite was the story of Pyrrha. [....] The oracle had destroyed everyone except Pyrrha because of their baseness, and she had gone to the oracle crying, “I'm so lonely, I'm so lonely.” The oracle told her to go to the river, pick up the rocks and throw them over her shoulder, but never look back. Pyrrha obeyed, and that image of faith and courage impressed me.
But as I instinctively knew, I loved the stage not becaues it provided an escape from myself or my humdrum life but because when the curtain went up I could be whoever I wanted to be, and that was true freedom—to be myself.
As time went on I came to understand something about Balanchine that was contrary to the frequent analysis of him as a man who required and requested “mechanical” dancers without “personality” and “soul.” (He was not opposed to real soul, only its common substitute: ego.)
Suzanne Farrell (with Toni Bentley), Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography.