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Jacques D'Amboise: Memoirs"I Was a Dancer"


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#106 Bonnette

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 11:51 AM

That is lovely, Neryssa - thank you! The link worked perfectly. I find it so hard to believe that we still don't have a biography of this magnificent dancer and spellbinding spirit.

#107 bart

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:51 PM

A wonderful clip. Thank you so much, Nereyssa. I wish I had been able to see LeClerq dance. SHE was the dancer people talked about most when I first started attending NYCB later in the 1950s. I love the abandon with which she rushes into the music. She even gives life to Magallanes, not always the quickest or most engaged dancer. Would that every dancer in this part could access that level of joy and risk taking.

According to Repertory in Review, Farrell also danced this part. Does anyone recall her performances. And how they compare to this?

#108 Jayne

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 03:18 PM

The Town Hall discussion with JD'A is now online (but looks like they cut it down a bit):

The Seattle Channel:
http://www.seattlech....asp?ID=3371102

#109 cubanmiamiboy

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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.



#110 canbelto

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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. 



#111 pherank

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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.



#112 cubanmiamiboy

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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!



#113 cubanmiamiboy

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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"



#114 SandyMcKean

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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.



#115 DanielBenton

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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.



#116 Amy Reusch

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:30 AM

"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).".

It is hard to evaluate one's own stage presence... His was, at the very least, in the same league...


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