Jacques d’Amboise Dead: ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,’ ‘Carousel’ Dancer Was 86

He based the National Dance Institute in 1976 and knew first-hand “the enjoyment and transformative energy that the humanities can carry to the lives of youngsters.”

Jacques d’Amboise, the premier New (*86*) City Ballet dancer who displayed his power and athleticism on the large display within the musicals Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Carousel, has died. He was 86.
D’Amboise died Sunday in his Manhattan residence of issues from a stroke, his daughter, actress-dancer Charlotte d’Amboise, advised The New (*86*) Times.
He spent the previous four-plus a long time offering free lessons to schoolchildren at his New (*86*)-based National Dance Institute.
D’Amboise portrayed Ephraim Pontipee (eventual husband of Virginia Gibson’s Liza) in MGM’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and performed a Starlight Carnival barker alongside Susan Luckey’s Louise in Fox’s Carousel (1956).
He additionally participated in a steamy duet in one other Fox musical launched in 1956, Michael Curtiz’s The Best Things in Life Are Free, and was dazzling on episodes of NBC’s The Bell Telephone Hour dance specials — one of many first TV sequence to air completely in shade — all through the ’60s.
D’Amboise carried out with the New (*86*) City Ballet for about 35 years. As a protégé of George Balanchine, he’s maybe greatest remembered for his flip in Apollo, and he had extra works choreographed particularly for him by the ballet legend than every other dancer.
In a 2018 interview with The Associated Press, he described the second within the early ’80s when he determined to finish his dance profession. “I used to be nearly 50, there have been only some roles left that I might do,” he stated. “I used to be ready to go onstage, and I instantly thought, ‘I do not wish to go on.’ I danced, got here off, took off my ballet footwear and give up.”
He discovered dancing in movies and on the ballet stage fairly completely different, he famous in his 2011 autobiography, I Was a Dancer.
“I discovered it troublesome to maintain enthusiasm [working in the movies] once you cease and begin, cease and begin, and by the tip of the day, you have solely danced just a few steps,” he wrote. “Performing with a ballet firm, you are in dialog with the viewers, not the digital camera; it is speedy, and there is no going again to redo, restore or camouflage.”
Joseph Jacques Ahearn was born on July 28, 1934, in Dedham, Massachusetts, and raised in Manhattan. He started his ballet coaching with Madame Seda in Washington Heights, and inside a yr at age 8, he was finding out on the School of American Ballet with Balanchine, Anatole Oboukhoff and Pierre Vladimiroff.

At 12, he carried out with the Ballet Society, then joined the New (*86*) City Ballet three years later. In 1950, he made his European debut at Covent Garden in London. (His father would change the household surname to d’Amboise as a result of it sounded “higher for the ballet.”)
He took half within the electrical “Barn Dance” quantity in Stanley Donen’s Seven Brides (he is the one sporting the darkish inexperienced shirt), and here is how former dancer and Pointe journal editor Amy Brandt described his efficiency — based mostly on Agnes DeMille’s choreography from the unique 1945-47 Broadway manufacturing — in Carousel:
“With informal swagger and his trademark enthusiasm, d’Amboise looks like only a common man — till he begins leaping. He finishes off a sequence of 4 consecutive double excursions with a triumphant toss of the pinnacle, then hangs midair in his double cabrioles, displaying off his spectacular beats earlier than he even thinks about touchdown. Later, he joins Luckey for a swooning pas de deux, lifting her so effortlessly by way of a spiral that you simply overlook he is solely holding her with one arm.”
As a choreographer, d’Amboise commissioned nearly 20 works for the New (*86*) City Ballet.
In 1976, he based the National Dance Institute. “There appears to be a human want to bop,” he as soon as stated. “Children really feel this want to bop acutely. At National Dance Institute, we expose hundreds of youngsters a yr to the thriller of dance, and all of them are modified by the expertise — some in small methods, others profoundly.”
“Jacques was a life drive,” NDI director Ellen Weinstein, who labored for some 40 years with d’Amboise, stated in a press release. “Jacques knew first-hand the enjoyment and transformative energy that the humanities can carry to the lives of youngsters, and he devoted the final 45 years to making sure that each youngster has entry to high quality arts schooling. His influence is immeasurable and eternal.”
He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’, a 1983 PBS documentary about his work with NDI, received an Academy Award, two Emmys and a Peabody.
A Kennedy Center honoree in 1995, D’Amboise obtained a National Medal of Arts award in 1998 and the Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture in 2004. He taught as a visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara for 11 years.
He was married to ballerina Carolyn d’Amboise from 1956 till her demise in 2009.
Survivors embrace his daughters, Charlotte and Catherine (they’re twins), and sons George and Christopher, a choreographer and former City Ballet dancer.

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