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, Ms. Favarel began her professional career at seventeen with Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg. She subsequently joined Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium as a soloist, where she performed her first principal role as Swanilda in the August Bournonville version of Coppelia, at nineteen. Ms. Favarel later joined Ballet der Deutsch Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany, as a soloist, under the direction of Paolo Bortoluzzi, and 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, Ms. 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.
Ms. 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, Coppelia, and Giselle. In 1990, dance critic Tom Strini named her “Dancer of the Year” for her interpretations of Swan Lake, Serenade, and Coppelia. During her time with Milwaukee Ballet, many choreographers created works for her, including Kathy Posin’s Tehillim and Bach’s Lunch, and Simon Dow’s Spartacus. In May, 2000, Ms. Favarel gave her farewell performance, and became Ballet Mistress for the company.
Mireille Favarel is currently Associate Director of the Milwaukee Ballet II. She also teaches and coaches the Milwaukee Ballet company and MBII. Mireille is a frequent guest teacher at major ballet schools and companies in Bulgaria, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas, including Chicago, Albuquerque, Palm Beach, Kansas City, and in her native country of France. In March of 2012, Ms. Favarel was invited to stage Kathy Posin’s Scheherazade for the National Ballet of Bulgaria, in Sofia. She staged Scheherazade again for the 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.
NYIBC 1984, Mireille Favarel & Yves de Bouteiller, Les Sylphides, photo by Eduardo Patino