New York City Ballet great Jacques d’Amboise turns 80 today. My first Balletfocus post in September covered a lecture demonstration he gave at Bank Street College in New York City. The fast moving hour plus presentation featured dances by students in d’Amboise-founded National Dance Institute (NDI) programs; also, a wide ranging discussion by d’Amboise of his storied career at New York City Ballet, thoughts on the power of dance and the arts in fostering child development, and techniques that NDI uses to teach dance to children.
d’Amboise was a Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet for almost 35 years before retiring in 1984. He was also in films such as “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “Carousel.” He received a number of awards for his dancing and work at NDI including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Kennedy Center Honors Award, a National Medal of the Arts, and Honorary Doctorate Degrees from a number of colleges, including Bank Street.