Ballet’s Jacques d’Amboise dies


Jacques d’Amboise, a nationally renowned ballet dancer who in later years taught dance for free to many children across the city, died Sunday at 86.

Born Joseph Jacques Ahearn, d’Amboise was the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet in the 1950s, appearing hundreds of times on stage, as well as in the movies including “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” in 1954 and “Carousel” in 1956.

His National Dance Institute was a place where many young people learned to express themselves for the first time. He would travel around the city, including P.S. 24 Spuyten Duyvil, and at The Riverdale Y, where his daughter-in-law Kelly Crandall d’Amboise was an artistic director for Riverdale Dance.

d’Amboise retired from dancing when he turned 50 , and is said that his National Dance Institute has reached as many as 2 million children since its founding in 1976.

His awards over the years include the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts in the 1990s, as well as a lifetime achievement honor from what is now the Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography.

d’Amboise is survived by four children, including son Christopher and daughter Charlotte, who followed their father into dancing.

His wife of 53 years, Carolyn George, died in 2009.


Villaverde honored for public service

Sergio Villaverde, a Kingsbridge Heights divorce attorney, is this year’s Bronx recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s pro bono service awards.

Villaverde was among more than a dozen lawyers and law firms receiving the award, based on where they lived. He was specifically singled out because of the thousands of hours he donated to public service representing victims of domestic violence.

The New York Bar hands out these awards each year on “Law Day,” honoring those who provide free legal service to those who need it.

Villaverde is a retired New York Police Department officer who is a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.

He’s also a member of Community Board 8.

Jacques d'Amboise, Joseph Jacques Ahearn, New York City Ballet, Michael Hinman, National Dance Institute, P.S. 24 Spuyten Duyvil, The Riverdale Y, Kelly Crandall d'Amboise, Riverdale Dance, Kennedy Center Honors, National Medal of Arts, Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography, Christopher d'Amboise, Charlotte d'Amboise, Carolyn George, Sergio Villaverde, New York State Bar Association, New York Police Department, NYPD, U.S. Coast Guard, CB8, Community Board 8,