d'Amboise, Jacques

d'Amboise, Jacques zhäk dămbwäzˈ [key], 1934–2021, American dancer and choreographer, b. Dedham, Mass., as Joseph Jacques Ahearn. One of the finest male dancers of his era, d'Amboise began his ballet training at age 7, soon enrolling at the new School of American Ballet led by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. He became a soloist with the New York City Ballet in 1953 and remained with the company until 1984. He is best known for his roles in such distinctly American dance works as Lew Christensen's Filling Station and 's Western Symphony and for his performance in the latter's other ballets, especially the title role in Apollo (1957). He also danced in several movies, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and Carousel (1956). His own ballets include The Chase (1963), Quatuor (1964) and Irish Fantasy (1964). He taught at the School of American Ballet and the State Univ. of New York, and he founded (1976) and directed the National Dance Institute, a nonprofit organization that brings dance into the public schools. Among his many awards and honors were a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant (1990), a Kennedy Center Honor (1995), and a New York State Governor's Award.

See his memoir (2011).

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