The dictionary defines dance as movement to music. For Jacques d’ Amboise, it is more than that. It is a metaphor for life.
Jacques was Balanchine’s protégé and star performer for 40 years. It was widely assumed he would inherit Balanchine’s role as director of the New York City Ballet when he retired but to everyone’s surprise he decided to form his own company instead and teach children the meaning of art.
“The most important thing art teaches you is to forget the future,” he said. “This is the only moment in time that exists.”
When I asked him to explain, he said, “Every performance is your first performance. It is also your last. You may dance tonight but who knows if you will ever dance again? And tomorrow you’re a different person. And the audience is never going to be the same. So each performance is all there is.”
As we approach the end of this year, Jacques’ message is on my mind. It leads me to my New Year’s resolution: Live in the moment. Make each moment rich and rewarding.
Today is the present. Tomorrow is a gift.
Enjoy the dance.