Fete de Danse: An evening of ballet at the Rouses Point Civic Center
by Kevin Couture
Press-Republican, Out & About, Aug 9, 2007
ROUSES POINT – When Jason Andrew, director of Norte Maar, moved to Rouses Point, he knew he wanted to be involved in his new community.
He had no idea, however, that his dance company would be a key player in the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society’s ambitious goal of refurbishing the Delaware & Hudson railroad station on Pratt Street into a museum, information and heritage center.
“We walked over to the Rouses Point Historical Society meeting to introduce ourselves,” Andrew said. “We got involved with the society. So I offered the services of my contacts in the arts to put on a ballet, to do a fundraiser for the society to help them.”
On Thursday, Aug. 16, the company will have its fourth Fete de Danse, an evening of ballet and Irish dancing.
Geri Favreau, president of the Historical Society, remembers when she first heard of ballet coming to the Northern Tier village.
“I thought, wow! Ballet in Rouses Point!”
She said that determination of the volunteers made the fete successful.
“The Historical Society worked together. All the members worked really, really hard. We worked with Jason to make it successful. I think the first year, we had 350 people that came.”
Fundraising aside, such an event is a boon to the Northern Tier, Favreau said.
“I think it fulfills a need in the community and the surrounding area to have that kind of program coming here. You can go to see shows like this in New York City, Montreal, Burlington or even Lake Placid, but to bring it to Rouses Point, I think it just fulfills a need.”
Julie Gleich, a choreographer whose dancers will appear in the show, said “People are more connected here, because everybody is involved.
“When Jason moved here, he asked me if I would join him in producin this big dance event in this unlikely place,” she said, “and this is our fourth summer.”
Echoing the Favreau’s sentiments, Andrew suggested that local residents should take advantage of this one-of-a-kind production.
“It is important for us to make the ballet very accessible, so everyone can come and see the dances. It’s fully produced, and all of the dancers are professionals.”
The collaboration with the Historical Society is a win-win situation, he said.
“It allows us to… to bring in these great dance companies and lets the companies and lets the community experience the best.”