Sponsored by Catherine L. Davies
Mireille Favarel was born in Toulon, France. After studying with Rosella Hightower at the Centre de Danse International in Cannes, Lydia Menchova from the Bolshoi, Robert Bestonso from the Royal Ballet and Raymond Franchetti from the Paris Opera, Favarel began her professional career at 17 with Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg (now the Ballet of the Opéra national du Rhin). She subsequently joined Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium as a soloist, where she performed her first principal role as Swanhilda in August Bournonville’s Coppélia at 19. Favarel later joined Ballet der Deutsch Oper am Rhein in Du?sseldorf, Germany as a soloist, under the direction of Paolo Bortoluzzi as well as Ballet du Nord in Roubaix, France, under the direction of Alphonso Cata as a principal dancer.
In addition to appearing with the Ballet du Nord during many of its international tours, Favarel represented France in the first New York International Ballet Competition. She was invited to perform in the gala performance for the next competition, and later returned as a coach and teacher for the NYIBC.
Favarel joined Milwaukee Ballet as a principal dancer in 1989, where she performed all of the major roles in the company repertoire. The most memorable are her interpretations of Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, Coppélia, and Giselle. In 1990, dance critic Tom Strini named her “Dancer of the Year” for her work in Swan Lake, Serenade, and Coppélia . During her time with Milwaukee Ballet, many choreographers created works for her, including Kathryn Posin’s Tehillim and Bach’s Lunch, as well as Simon Dow’s Spartacus. In May 2000, Favarel gave her farewell performance and became Ballet Mistress for the Company.
Mireille Favarel is currently Artistic Director of Milwaukee Ballet II (MBII). She also teaches and coaches Milwaukee Ballet Company and MBII. Favarel is a frequent guest teacher at major ballet schools and companies in Bulgaria, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and in her native country of France. In March of 2012, Favarel staged Kathryn Posin’s Scheherazade for the National Ballet of Bulgaria, in Sofia. She staged Scheherazade again for Milwaukee Ballet in 2016. She continues to perform character roles for Milwaukee Ballet, most recently as James’ mother in La Sylphide and the Queen in Swan Lake.