Jacques D'Amboise: Memoirs"I Was a Dancer"
Posted 28 April 2011 - 11:51 AM
Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:51 PM
According to Repertory in Review, Farrell also danced this part. Does anyone recall her performances. And how they compare to this?
Posted 11 July 2014 - 08:28 PM
I just bumped into D'Amboise's autobiography in a thrift store, and grabbed it. Been reading it today and find it very entertaining. Written with a candid, honest style, he's no short of telling the reader about hard self assessments and doubts while in NYCB. He repeatedly declares that he knew he was not in the same league as some of his peers, both from America-(Villella)-or abroad-(Vasiliev, Bruhn). Very interesting to once again get another account on City Ballet's first tour to the Soviet Union-(I had already Kirkland's and Villella's takes)-and how things were handled over there. D'Amboise even shreds lots of light into a allegedly platonic fixation that Balanchine seems to have had on Diana Adams, and how she sort of slipped away from his muse trail. Also, very interesting views on "Apollo". Will finish it tomorrow at the beach.
Posted 11 July 2014 - 09:17 PM
Glad you enjoyed it. Would be curious to see what you think of his dish on Suzanne Farrell. When I read it I was like ... wow. The estrangement Farrell continues to have with the NYCB alumni is depressing.
Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:45 PM
The d'Amboise autobiography also provides some record of Tanaquil Le Clercq's life with the company and Balanchine, which didn't really exist anywhere else until the recent documentary was released.
Posted 12 July 2014 - 05:59 AM
Yes...there are many anecdotes related to Le Clerq, as well as Tallchief. As I said, he devotes a lot of writing to his development of Apollo. Actually, I met the man once, here in Miami, where he attended some performance of an organization he patronizes. Extremely gracious and talkative man, he spoke to me about the less than ideal conditions he had when Apollo was filmed-(the little TV studio set).
So in the book he describes one time when he and Balanchine were in the wings watching Martins perform the ballet.
JD- "Why did you do that, Mr B...? Cut Stravinsky's music, cut out the prologue and change the choreography for the ending..?
GB- "You know, audience only want to see stars, and stars only want to make poses, not do my steps, SO I GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT..! Poses. Like for a magazine. Like van Gogh...cut off his own hear!
Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:30 PM
More interesting excerpts/conversations between D'Amboise and Balanchine...
JD'A- "Mr. B...in the history of all the ballerinas you've taught and choreographed for-from the earliest days...Toumanova, Barnova, Riabouchinska...all the way up till today-who do you consider the most talented...?
He immediately answered...
GB- "Allegra. She is the most gifted. She is missing only one element in the "formula to be perfect"....Allegra has the right ingredients, but something prevents her from being consistent. I can't count on her"
Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:07 PM
Not everyone agrees with me, but I found Allegra's book pretty wonderful too. Very honest I thought.
Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:15 AM
I agree with you about Allegra. She was one of the great dance artists and she is very articulate in her book about who she is and what she did. Even when her "external" life was a mess she knew what she was doing on stage.
Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:30 AM
It is hard to evaluate one's own stage presence... His was, at the very least, in the same league...
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