Kennedy Onassis, Jacqueline. (1929–1994) [D'Amboise, Jacques. (1934–2021)]
Autograph Letter Signed to Jacques D'Amboise, following a performance of "Chakra"
Autograph letter from the former First Lady to the important American ballet dancer, choreographer, actor, and founder of the National Dance Institute. Jacqueline's note, dated May 24, 1991, was written with great admiration following a performance she had viewed of his "Chakra." The letter, in full:
"Dear Jacques, / I saw your wonderful CHAKRA last night and cannot tell you how moved I was. What you have done for all those children - given them what must be almost the brightest moment in their lives - to perform, to be exposed to theatre and music and another culture. There could be no greater gift. Your choreography is a miracle - for them, for the audience. / All the work that must have gone in to rehearsals, costumes, not to mention the chore of raising money. You should get every medal in the world. / We had to leave early for a commitment in NYC but wanted to see as much of CHAKRA as we could on the only night we could – Please accept my deepest admiration – How many lives you have changed and given hope to. / with affectionate regards to you and Carolyn and Chris – and all mes hommages / Jackie".
2 pages (recto only), written on her personal stationery from the address of her Upper East Side apartment, located at 1040 Fifth Avenue. Together with the original envelope. In very fine condition, with light wear to the envelope edges. 5.75 x 7.75 inches (14.6 x 19.7 cm.).
"'Chakra' was a mammoth production with 1000 school children of various nationalities participating in it. A production of the National Dance Institute, New York, it was directed by famous choreographer Jacques d'Amboise and performed at the Radio City Music Hall on May 20, 1991. After that, ten consecutive days of presentation in the famed hall of Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in NY...On retiring, ballet choreographer Jacques D’Amboise, embarked on social work to bring world cultures together and educate the under privileged children about the outside world by giving lec/dems and training them in dance. Every year, he chose one nation and brought that culture to mainstream NY audiences. He visited the country of his choice, selected some children and brought them to NY to mingle with the local underprivileged children. In 1990, he chose India. After a day of observing classes, d'Amboise expressed his wish to work with the children and selected five girls to participate in the project 'Chakra'. As the name suggests, Chakra symbolized the wheel of time, the philosophy of life - an egg breaks, a male and female emerge, how they separate and then unite, the hurdles they overcome in the form of deserts and oceans symbolizing difficulties in life and how they finally go to heaven." (Chakra, bharatakalanjali.com)
D'Amboise joined the New York City Ballet in 1949 and was named principal dancer in 1953, and throughout his time with the company he danced 24 roles for George Balanchine. He also made film appearances, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Carousel, and choreographed 17 ballets for the New York City Ballet. In 1976, he founded the National Dance Institute to promote the accessibility of dance and theatre to children coming from predominantly low-income communities.
Law, Politics & Social Sciences
Performing Arts & Media