Synopses & Reviews
From one of America’s finest, and most celebrated, classical dancers; former principal dancer for more than three decades with the New York City Ballet—the irresistible story of an exhilarating life in dance.
He writes of the New York City Ballet and those at its center: Lincoln Kirstein; Jerome Robbins; George Balanchine (“With Robbins, you were amplified; with Balanchine, you were transformed”), as well as the ballerinas who were Balanchine’s muses—Maria Tallchief, Tanaquil LeClercq, Allegra Kent, Melissa Hayden, and Suzanne Farrell among them—and with whom d’Amboise had the privilege of partnering . . . about the ballets he danced (he had more works choreographed on him by Balanchine than any other dancer) . . . on courting one of the members of the company who became his wife . . . on the mentors, teachers, and choreographers with whom d’Amboise worked long before they became legends: Antony Tudor, Frederick Ashton, Martha Graham, among them . . .
A riveting, magical book, as transformative as dancing itself.
In this lively memoir former New York City Ballet principal dancer d'Amboise (Teaching the Magic of Dance) details his career at the company—but barely mentions his work for Broadway and Hollywood. He exuberantly recounts his childhood arrival at the School of American Ballet 35 years at NYCB and his beloved National Dance Institute. Now 76 d'Amboise reveals how close he was to George Balanchine—sharing a decade's worth of New Year's Eves acting as mediator in the choreographer's love affairs visiting him daily in the hospital during his final year and so fully assimilating the master's approach and style that it was assumed for years that d'Amboise would succeed Balanchine as head of NYCB. Instead d'Amboise founded the National Dance Institute in 1976 to involve public school students in the transformative power of the arts for which he credits a full and love filled life. The segments devoted to major figures in 20th century ballet including the Christensen brothers John Cranko and Balanchine's many muses—while informative lack the humor and narrative pull of the main story: how a street kid who literally tried to fly developed gravity defying elevation and superb artistry as a ballet dancer. 106 bamp;w photos. (Feb.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
About the Author
Jacques d’Amboise was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for more than thirty-three years. In 1976, he founded the National Dance Institute, and is the author of Teaching the Magic of Dance (1983). He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them the Kennedy Center Honor, the National Medal of Arts, and fellowships from the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the MacArthur Foundation. He has won an Academy Award, six Emmy Awards, and the Peabody Award. He lives in New York City and Hunter, New York.