Firestone Dances tape
Posted 13 April 2005 - 02:45 PM
Posted 13 April 2005 - 03:33 PM
I was quite in love with Jacques D'Amboise back then, and this video displays his youthful charm and power. He proved that every male principal doesn't have to have perfectly pointed feet to be a danseur noble. His footwork, indeed legwork, was so swift, his manner so elegant, his partnering so strong and attentive, his presence so commanding, his looks so handsome, that Balanchine had an incredible drawing card in him. Pairing him later with Suzanne Farrell was another coup in marketing a perfect partnership.
In "Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' ", made decades later, we are still witness to his tremendous energy and infectious passion for dance.
Posted 13 April 2005 - 04:52 PM
I wonder why, despite his long career, great popularity, real stage presence, and impressive dancing, d'Amboise has not gotten more attention in memoirs of NYCB in that period. Edward Villella's memories are rather negative, as I recall. Farrell, on the other hand, credits him as a partner, teacher and coach. Do any writers try to capture and analyze the quality of his dancing?
Three sets of images come to mind right now: a very young d'Amboise in Faun; an Apollo with genuine feeling and drama (and with Farrell, too); and the man attending, supporting and adoring (when called for) a variety of great female dancers.
Posted 13 April 2005 - 05:00 PM
Merrill Ashley, in Dancing for Balanchine, also speaks about d'Amboise's influences on her career and development, first for including her in the demonstration/touring groups of young dancers that he arranged for a number of years, and second, by casting her in one of his ballets (IIRC Saltarelli?). Ashley said that Balanchine looked at her differently after she danced the lead in that ballet.
Farrell, on the other hand, credits him as a partner, teacher and coach.
Ashley was roughly ten years behind Farrell at NYCB.
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