WASHINGTON, May 4, 1999 – At the National Endowment for the Humanities today, master dancer Jacques d'Amboise gave a preview of the activities he has planned for the seven-month Appalachian Trail hike he will begin later this month to promote arts and humanities education. d'Amboise explained the purpose of his journey and demonstrated the dance "jig" that will be the trek's theme in an appearance at an NEH forum in the Old Post Office Pavilion. Some forty students attending from two Washington public schools -- the Winston Educational Center and the Patterson Elementary School -- learned the steps and experienced the rambunctious, inspirational teaching style of one of the nation's great dance instructors.
"The humanities tell America's stories, and the voice of Jacques d'Amboise is one we can all learn from," said NEH Chairman William Ferris. "He is a national treasure, gifted not just as a dancer but as an interpreter who bridges the worlds of the arts and the humanities through word and deed. He is a great artist, a great humanist and a living legend."
The dancer's distinguished 35-year career includes starring in George Balanchine's New York City Ballet, founding and directing the National Dance Institute in New York, and receiving a MacArthur "genius" award and the National Medal of the Arts.