Celebrated ballet dancer comes to campus

Publication Date

Ballet legend Jacques d’Amboise, former New York City Ballet principal dancer, will visit campus next week to work with dance students, have afternoon tea at the President’s House and sign copies of his new book.

“I Was a Dancer: A Memoir” (Knopf) recounts his 35 years with the company as a protégé of founder and choreographer George Balanchine, one the 20th century’s iconic artists.

Now 76, d’Amboise will lead students in their warm-up on stage at the Yulman theater Thursday, March 3, before that evening’s performance of the Winter Dance Concert. He will attend the concert and hold a book signing after the show.

The concert, “A Day in Motion,” set for March 2-5, features a cast of 30, live music and original choreography by Dance Director Miryam Moutillet, instructor Marcus Rogers, professor of French Charles Batson and Hillel Meltzer, a former performer with Stomp/Broadway. Dance Project students Jessica Nagourney ’12, Alyssa Simeone ’11 and Ayanna Vinson-Dobson ’11 also will present their works.

“The Theater and Dance Department is greatly honored to have a man of Jacques d’Amboise’s artistic stature visit us,” said William Finlay, department chair. “In addition to his dancing, his amazing accomplishment with the National Dance Institute is a legacy that goes well beyond his dancing career.”

D’Amboise founded the New York City-based dance institute in 1976 to involve public school students in the transformative power of dance and other arts. He has been honored by the Kennedy Center and has earned the National Medal of the Arts, and is the recipient of an Academy Award, six Emmys and a Peabody.

“I am a person who knows how the arts can change lives," he wrote in his memoir, "because they transformed mine.”

Winter Dance Concert tickets are on sale at the Yulman Box Office; (518) 388-6545.