The New York City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to name the street after Jacques d’Amboise after more than 100 signatures from students, parents, organizations, educators , actors, artists, dancers and producers whose lives have been inspired by M. .d’Amboise. The ceremony, which took place at Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Squareincluded remarks from Kay Gaynerartistic director of NDI; Wind Brewermember of the New York City Council (D-06); Wendy WhelanAssociate Artistic Director of New York City Ballet; Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer of the New York City Ballet; and Christopher d’Amboise, son of Mr. d’Amboise and former principal dancer and choreographer of the New York City Ballet. The NDI children paid tribute to Mr. d’Amboise with two performances, “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Dancing in the Street.”
“Jacques d’Amboise leaves behind a wonderful legacy that inspires artists to continue from manhattan prominence as a world center for music, dance, theater and the visual arts. Jacques understood the transformative power, emotion and joy of dance, and the National Institute of Dance grew – in leaps and bounds – to reach more than two million Harlem children in countries around the world,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-06) “Jacques’ legacy – and this street co-naming – inspires us all to continue working together to ensure every child in this city can access quality artistic programming,” she added.
Mr. d’Amboise was one of the most influential dancers of the 20th century. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1949 and performed until his retirement in 1984. As a protege of George Balanchine, Mr. d’Amboise had more works choreographed especially for him than any other dancer. He is best remembered for his performance of “Apollo”, the oldest Balanchine ballet in the New York City Ballet’s repertoire. While still a principal dancer, Mr. d’Amboise established the National Institute of Dance in 1976. He led the field of arts education with NDI’s acclaimed program that teaches magic, rigor and the joy of dance and performance. Since its inception, NDI has reached more than two million children worldwide.
Street naming to celebrate Mr. d’Amboise is the first of three events in May and June 2022 honor his life and work. The Historic Monuments Preservation Center will install a cultural medallion in honor of Jacques d’Amboise on the site of his former residence at 2601 Frederick Douglass Boulevard in from manhattan Harlem neighborhood. The ceremony will be hosted by Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, founder and president of the Historic Monuments Preservation Center and creator of the Cultural Medallion Program. Dr. Diamonstein-Spielvogel was recently named a member of President Biden’s advisory committee on the arts. To register for Dedication Jacques d’Amboise Cultural Medallion event to be held LIVE on Zoom, Monday, May 16, 2022, 3 p.m. ESTto visit https://rsvp.theworldsbest.events/_01gm0.
The third celebratory event, A commemorative celebration of the life of Jacques d’Amboisewill be held at the New York City Center on June 1, 2022to 7 p.m. EST. The star-studded celebration will be an evening to remember Mr. d’Amboise and will include performances and commentary from many of his contemporaries, New York City principal ballet dancers, children of the National Dance Institute, musical theater actors and actresses and family members. Those who pay homage to M. d’Amboise are Christophe and Charlotte d’Amboise, Vicki Reiss, Daniel Ulbricht, Liz Larsen & Sal Viviano, Brian StokesMitchellTiler Spades & Roman Mejia, Chita Riveraand many more.
The Amboise Family requests that all donations in Jacques’ memory be made to his beloved Institut National de la Danse. the Jacques d’Amboise Heritage Fund was created to support artistic projects that honor its vision, creativity and commitment to arts education. General admission tickets will be available on a first-come basis on the NDI website https://nationaldance.org start May 12, 2022.
Mr. d’Amboise’s work with the Institut national de la danse has earned him national and international notoriety. He was featured in the documentary, It makes me want to dance, which won an Oscar and a Primetime Emmy Award. He received the MacArthur ‘Genius Award’, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts and many more notable awards for his lifetime achievements. In addition, Mr. d’Amboise was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
About the National Institute of Dance
The National Institute of Dance uses dance and music to instill in students a love of the arts, a passion for learning, and a desire to strive for their best. At the core of NDI’s methodology is the belief that the arts have the unique power to engage all children, regardless of background, ability, or socioeconomic status, and to motivate them toward excellence.
Each year, NDI delivers its award-winning arts and learning programs to more than 6,000 public school children per week across New York City and reaches thousands more through 12 NDI Associate Programs across the United States. For more information, visit NDI online at nationaldance.orgon Twitter @NationalDance, Facebook and instagram @NationalDanceInstitute; and Youtube and LinkedIn @National Institute of Dance.
Valerie Silverman Kerr
SOURCE National Institute of Dance