As a young man, Jacques d'Amboise dropped out of school to devote himself to dance. It wasn't a complete leap of faith, as he already had a job with the New York City Ballet, but it still showed an extraordinary commitment to his art. His boldness and skill were amply rewarded: By the age of seventeen he was the principal dancer for the company, and before long George Balanchine was choreographing pieces with d'Amboise in mind. Then Hollywood came calling, and d'Amboise danced in blockbusters such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Carousel. Jacques d'Amboise danced his way through life, marrying Carolyn George (another dancer), starting a family that includes dancers Charlotte and Christopher, choreographing for professional dancers and amateurs (his Trail Dance was taught to fellow hikers on the Appalachian Trail while d'Amboise hiked its more than 2,000 miles at the age of 55) and founding the National Dance Institute. I Was A Dancer, d'Amboise's long-awaited autobiography, recounts a life spent in service to dance. d'Amboise reads from his book and then discusses it with Dance St. Louis' artistic and executive director Michael Uthoff at 7 p.m. at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). The event costs $35, which includes admission for two people and one copy of the book, which d'Amboise will sign following a Q&A session.
Thu., March 31, 2011