Silas Farley is a ballet teacher and choreographer. He currently serves as Armstrong Artist in Residence in Ballet in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU).
He is a former dancer with New York City Ballet and former Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA.
Farley began his training when he was 7 years old in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina with Sal and Barbara Messina at King David Christian Conservatory. He continued his training at Charlotte Ballet Academy with Hamburg Ballet alumni Kathryn Moriarty and Mark Diamond and New York City Ballet alumni Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. He completed his ballet training at the School of American Ballet.
He joined New York City Ballet in 2012 and danced with the Company until 2020. There he performed principal roles in the works of George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon and originated roles in ballets by Wheeldon, Lauren Lovette and Justin Peck.
Farley has taught nationally and internationally, including for the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Slovak National Ballet, Colburn School, Peabody Conservatory, Hartt School, Chautauqua School of Dance, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, and the Kennedy Center.
He has choreographed for the School of American Ballet, the New York Choreographic Institute, Columbia Ballet Collaborative at Columbia University, Works & Process at The Guggenheim, Houston Ballet, The Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Ballet.
Farley’s choreography has been presented at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, The Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles, CA, and Teatro Nacional de Cuba in Havana.
In 2017, Farley collaborated with poet Ilya Kaminsky on the ballet adaptation of Kaminsky’s book, Deaf Republic, at Grace Farms Foundation. In the fall of 2017, Farley was commissioned by MetLiveArts to choreograph a site-specific work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. That work, Songs From The Spirit, was made in collaboration with the Ear Hustle podcast and was set to music by currently and formerly incarcerated musicians from San Quentin State Prison. The ballet premiered at The Met Museum in 2019.
In 2022, Farley choreographed a new work for New York City Ballet to a new score by David K. Israel. The ballet, entitled Architects of Time, was commissioned for New York City Ballet’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of its 1972 Stravinsky Festival.
In 2022, Farley choreographed Fanfare for the Common Man to the score by Aaron Copland as a dance film for The Washington Ballet. The ballet was filmed for Marquee TV on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to mark the monument’s 100th anniversary.
Farley was an inaugural Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. He has written for Dance Magazine and Dance Index and lectured for the New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Park Avenue Armory, and Museum of Modern Art. Farley is writer and host of the New York City Ballet podcast, Hear the Dance. Mr. Farley served as the Armstrong Visiting Artist in Residence in Ballet in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University for the 2020–21 academic year.
From 2021-2023, Farley served as Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA. While at Colburn, Farley implemented an enhanced multi-genre training regimen and began new courses in Choreography and Artistic Inquiry—a university-style lecture course exploring the evolution of ballet and its relationship to the other arts. In 2022, he instituted a Summer Ballet Intensive that welcomed guest artists including Suki Schorer, Jodie Gates and Michael Montgomery. He fostered collaboration between the dance program and all music units of the institution: Conservatory, Music Academy, and Community School of Performing Arts. He choreographed new works for students to the music of Michael Praetorius, Billy Strayhorn, Arvo Pärt, Samuel Barber, Carl Orff, Maurice Ravel and Shelley Washington. He facilitated masterclasses and lectures with leaders in the world of music and dance, including James Conlon, John Neumeier, Susan Jaffe, Kyle Abraham and Alonzo King. And he curated an evening of Colburn students in performance at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
Farley serves on the Board of The George Balanchine Foundation.
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