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(Eve) Annabel Farjeon (1919-2004) Biography

ballet critic london england

(Sarah Jefferson)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born March 19, 1919, in Bucklebury, Berkshire, England; died February 8, 2004, in London, England. Dancer and author. The daughter of critic Herbert Farjeon and artist Joan Farjeon, Annabel grew up well versed in literature and the theater. Her first passion was dance, though, and she began studying ballet at the age of eleven. Her early performances were with the Vic-Wells Ballet and, later, the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company. When World War II began, Farjeon became an ambulance driver in London, and after the war worked with refugees in Italy and Egypt. She then began her writing and criticism career, first as an assistant literary editor for Time & Tide from 1946 to 1948, then as a ballet critic for the New Statesman until 1964. Her knowledge of ballet also led to fourteen years as a dance critic for the London Evening Standard during the 1960s and early 1970s. Besides becoming a respected critic, sometimes contributing to periodicals under the pseudonym Sarah Jefferson, Farjeon was known for her books for children, including The Siege of Trapp's Mill (1972), The Poetry of Cats (1974), and The Unicorn Drum (1976). In addition, she completed a biography of her aunt titled Morning Has Broken: A Biography of Eleanor Farjeon (1986). The journal that she kept while working as a dancer in the 1930s was later published in the 1980s in American Dance Chronicle and adapted as a BBC documentary titled Ballet behind the Borders (2002).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Independent (London, England), February 13, 2004, p. 41.

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8 months ago

The name of the journal, of which I was then editor, in which Annabel's memoir was published in 1987 is just Dance Chronicle, although it is American. The title is "The Dutch Journal" and deals with the tour and then escape from Holland when the Germans invaded, almost capturing the entire Sadler's Wells Ballet company.