Jacques d'Amboise leading a National Dance Institute class. Photo by Lois Greenfield, Courtesy DM Archives

Jacques d'Amboise's First Apollo Was "Terrible." Here's What It Taught Him About Being a Dancer.

In the October 1969 issue of Dance Magazine, we spoke with Jacques d'Amboise, then 20 years into his career with New York City Ballet. Though he became a principal dancer in 1953, the star admitted that it hadn't all been smooth sailing.


"I knew that I was terrible in my first Apollo," he told us, "and when Balanchine did not come to me and tell me so, did not train me in it, I realized that to be a dancer you must work as a dancer, not as a robot. I knew then that your teachers can teach you so much—but that the learning process is limitless, and that you set your own limits on what you learn."

D'Amboise arguably became the definitive interpreter of Apollo, and brought that thoughtful approach to his endeavors in choreography and arts education. In 1976, while still performing with NYCB, he founded National Dance Institute—and today, at age 85, he's still at it.

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Still frrom Shobana Jeyasingh's Contagion, courtesy Sadler's Wells

This Free Online Festival Showcases the Crème de la Crème of the U.K. Dance Scene

As most theaters across the world remain closed, London's contemporary dance hub Sadler's Wells and cultural broadcaster BBC Arts have come together to produce a day-long digital dance festival on January 28.

Dancing Nation will showcase 15 new and beloved works by world-class, U.K.-based companies and choreographers over three hour-long, pre-recorded segments. Highlights will include Akram Khan and Natalia Osipova performing together for the first time in Mud of Sorrow: Touch, a new work inspired by Khan's 2006 duet with Sylvie Guillem; Matthew Bourne's New Adventures' seminal 1988 work Spitfire; and Shobana Jeyasingh's timely restaging of Contagion, which explores the spread of the virus that caused the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

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February 2021