Enigmatic dance legend Jacques d’Amboise to visit Boise on Saturday, Oct. 24

TrICA is bringing d’Amboise to the City of Trees for special children’s dance class and presentation “Encounter with Dance: An Evening with Jacques d’Amboise”

Legendary dancer and choreographer Jacques d’Amboise is coming to Boise on Saturday, Oct. 24, for a pair of special events hosted by TrICA at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St. in Downtown Boise’s Linen District.

That morning, d’Amboise and TrICA Founder/Artistic Director Jon Swarthout will lead a Community Dance Class for children 6-12 from 10 to 11:15 a.m. The class is a rare opportunity for young dancers to rehearse under the instruction of a living legend, one whose philosophy of joy, discipline and purpose has guided his life’s work and influenced thousands of children around the world. Tuition is $15. SPACE IS LIMITED. Call TrICA at 208.344.2220 to register. Parents are welcome to stay and watch their children dance and interact with d’Amboise.

That night, d’Amboise will delight young and old during “Encounter with Dance: An Evening with Jacques d’Amboise” at 7 p.m. A consummate speaker, d’Amboise will share stories and show video clips from his storied career, work with children in the audience, and expound upon his belief in the power of arts education. This two-hour public event also includes performances by the Trey McIntyre Project and TrICA Leap Troupe youth dance ensemble. Tickets are $25 general, $15 children under 12. Call TrICA at 208.344.2220 to purchase.

The 75-year-old d’Amboise, who has a longstanding relationship with TrICA, has generously waived his appearance fee to come to Boise and help raise funds for the nonprofit children’s arts institute’s arts and education programs.

“Jacques d’Amboise is truly one of the last of his kind,” Swarthout said. “Most of the dancers from that generation have passed on. His visit to Boise is a chance for the children in our community to learn from a genius who believes in the importance of TrICA’s mission.”

Recognized as one of the finest classical dancers of our time, Jacques d’Amboise now leads the field of arts education with a model program that exposes thousands of school children to the magic and discipline of dance. In 1976, while still the principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, d’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate individuals toward excellence.

The protege of another ballet giant, George Balanchine, d’Amboise joined the New York City Ballet at the age of 15 and was bestowed the honor of principal dancer by 17. Balanchine choreographed more works specifically for d’Amboise than any other dancer, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (d’Amboise was the original Puck). D’Amboise, who has danced, directed and written for theater, film and television, is most remembered for his portrayal of what critics called “the definitive Apollo.”

D’Amboise’s contributions to dance and arts education have earned him numerous awards and accolades, include a MacArthur Fellowship. “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’,” a 1984 PBS documentary film about his work with NDI, won an Academy Award, six Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award, the Cine Golden Eagle Award, and the National Education Association Award for the advancement of learning through broadcasting.

TrICA and d’Amboise have been linked for many years. TrICA was one of the founding members of ANDI: Associates of National Dance Institute and follows the tenets of d’Amboise’s teachings. Swarthout first met d’Amboise when he attended an ANDI teacher training program in New York City and had the chance to tell him all about TrICA. Sometime later, when the two met again, d’Amboise offered his assistance.

Said Swarthout: “Jacques grabbed me and said, ‘I want to come to Boise and help you put on a fundraiser.’ I was thrilled, because he’s an incredible role model for me as a male arts educator. He creates that spark of magic within children. I’ve heard him speak before, and he says things that will inspire you for the rest of your life.”

JACQUES D’AMBOISE IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS – contact Jon Swarthout at 208.344.2220 or jon@trica.org to schedule. For high-resolution photos or more information on d’Amboise and the Oct. 24 events, contact Bandwagon PR at 208.284.0355 or bandwagonpr@yahoo.com.

ABOUT TRICA: Formerly known as Children’s Dance Institute, the Treasure Valley Institute for Children’s Arts (TrICA) provides meaningful experiences in the arts taught by outstanding and loving educators, inspiring the children of the Treasure Valley to develop attitudes and values contributing to a stronger sense of community, humanity and good will. For more information, visit trica.org.


“The arts open your heart and mind to possibilities that are limitless. They are pathways that touch upon our brains and emotions and bring sustenance to imagination. Human beings’ greatest form of communication, they walk in tandem with science and play and best describe what it is to be human.”

“When you learn to move your body on a note of music, it’s exciting. You have taken control of your body and, by learning to do that, you discover that you can take control of your life.”

“There seems to be a human need to dance – to dance for joy, for sadness, to petition the gods and then to thank them. Children feel this need to dance acutely; often it’s just the opportunity, the invitation, they lack. It is, I’m sure, this human need that triggers the extraordinary changes I see in them. At the National Dance Institute we expose thousands of children a year to the mystery of dance – some who are deaf, some who don’t know left from right, and some who never thought they could (or would even want to) dance – and all of them are changed by the experience, some in small ways, others profoundly.”

“So, I think I would say, enjoy the process of learning to dance. The process of our profession, and not its final achievement, is the heart and soul of dance.”

“What an extraordinary thing for a street boy with friends in gangs. Half grew up to become policemen and the other half gangsters – and I became a ballet dancer!”


“They say you can see the universe in a flower. In one hour, teaching a jig to a motley crew of students of all ages, Jacques d’Amboise lays bare the essence of all good education: discipline, effort, beauty, struggle, joy. In the process, he opens up a universe of possibilities for all who participate and reveals why an education in the arts must be the birthright of every human being.”Howard Gardner, Director, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Project Zero

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