All posts tagged Fete De Danse

A Celebration of Dance

A Celebration of Dance
by Amy Colgan-Niemeyer
North Countryman, Jul 1, 2006 

Rouses Point, NY – If you thought you’d have to travel to New York City or London to experience top notch dance instruction and performance, think again. For the month of July, Rouses Point will host SummerDance: RP06, a celebration of art and performance presented by Norte Maar, and organization based there whose mission in part is to present and promote the arts in rural locations.

An exhibition entitled “Nureyev: Photographs of a Dancer” runs from June 26 – Aug. 6 at the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, Dibden Center for the Arts, Johnson, Vt. with an opening reception to be held on July 8 from 6 to 8 p.m., but events kick off in Rouses Point beginning July 6 with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Show, a photography exhibit and film series celebrating the famous dance duo.

And, the Summer Conservatory of Dance, in its third year here in the North Country, runs for two weeks in July, giving aspiring dancers the opportunity to study with top dance instructors alongside top dancers. These professional dancers are invited by Norte Maar to spend the summer in Rouses Point.

“The experience that we offer is very unique,” said Jason Andew, Director of Norte Maar, who is very active in having artists meet artists. “A very European-style training where all the dancers will train together. It gives the aspiring younger dancers the opportunity to study in a very intense environment.”

A variety of classes are available including those on conditioning, ballet technique, character, partnering and pointe. Faculty this year includes master teachers Julia Gleich of London, Ernesta Corvino of New York City and other guests.

“It will be something very modern,” Andrew said.

Although there are dance schools in the area, Norte Maar fills a void for those dancers who want to become professionals.

“We can get them connected into different kinds of art worlds. We help them branch off into a career in dance,” Andrew said. “We firmly believe that any young dancer that’s got that kind of aspiration can become very great.”

“I hope that the people will take advantage of it,” he added. “The Conservatory’s a very, very special opportunity for a lot of people [in the North Country].”

in addition, a summer dance concert, the Fete de Danse, presented by Norte Maar in affiliation with the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society, will return for its third year. Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet of London, Burklyn Ballet Theatre of Johnson, Vermont, Andrew J. Nemr, tap dancer and founding member of Savion Glover’s TiDii of New York City, Racoco Productions, also of New York, City, which presents unique theatrical experiences that combine dance, theater, everyday objects and other forms of entertainment and expression, and the Bernadette Short School of Irish Dancing of Montreal will be featured as well as others yet to be announced.

“This ballet program that he puts together…there’s little different types of things going on,” said Historical Society president, Geri Favreau. “And some of it is fun and some of it is very elegant and it’s just, it’s different.”

The partnership between Norte Maar and the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society was born when Andrew bought a house in the village and sought to become involved with the local social groups.

“The Historical Society, I really fell in love with because their mission was to preserve the North Country,” Andrew said. “Primarily they were interested in trying to renovate the local D&H Railroad Station.”

“One of our dreams is that we want to be able to have the [Station] restored and make it a village museum,” Favreau said. “And that’s going to take a lot of money.”

All the proceeds from the Fete de Danse concert in years past have gone to that restoration project. And this year is no different.

“Our real heart is in the North Country,” said Andrew, who lives in New York City. “These professional artists all get together and we kind of just relax and talk about ideas and try new things and do experimentations. Rouses Point is such a beautiful little village near the lake that we can experience all kinds of outdoor activities and still get a place away from the noisy city.”

In return, the Historical Society does a lot of ground work for the event, including soliciting sponsors, helping to build the stage, putting up posters, assisting with publicity, and throwing the after-show party, where those who attend the Fete de Danse get a chance to meet the performers.

“We make a lot of the food ourselves,” Favreau said. “It’s very, very nice. We’ve had a lot of very nice compliments on it.”

Although the Society is historical rather than cultural, Favreau said, “We say we’re making history by doing this, so it really kind of does fit into our mission.”

The SummerDance:RP06 wraps up with the Wal-Mart Ballet’s performance of La Sylphide.

“I think that ballet itself is a very inaccessible art form,” Andrew said. “It’s very rarified and it lends iteself to the major cities where there’s a lot of culture, so it’s the way of the Norte Maar making dance and ballet more accessible to general audiences.”

Although the various aspects of SummerDance:RP06 have been brought to Rouses Point in past years, Andrew said, “This is the first year that we’ve done it where it’s all under one big title. We decided that it would be quite special to be able to put it all under one big event.”

Much of the funding for SummerDance:RP06 comes from Friends of Norte Maar.

“I call them the Devine Group,” Andrew said. “A group of individuals from all over the world that have for a very long time been involved in one way or another with supporting the kind of events that I myself have done and now Norte Maar.”


Happy Feet and Historical Fundraisers
By Keshia Clukey, Contributing Writer
Jill – a magazine for today’s women, Jun 26, 2006 

Norte Maar specializes each year in presenting as well as encouraging the arts in the North Country. Director Jason Andrew stated, “You can do it, we can help you!” He eagerly described the company as a way to connect artists with other artists as well as venues to display their talents.

Focusing mainly on the Northen Tier of New York, Norte Maar has become a unique and ever growing organization supporting literary, visual, and performing arts. The name, “Norte Maar”, refers to the North Sea and Dora Maar, who was the wife and inspiration of artist Pablo Picasso.

It offers a number of events throughout the summer beginning with a photo exhibition gesturing the intensity and talent of Nureyev. The gallery will consist of photos from the Robes of Time, some of which have not been seen since 1970. The Ropes of Time is a landmark in not only dance, but also sound because it was the first time recorded music was used in Royal Ballet history. This will be held at the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery in Johnson, Vermont from June 26 through August 5.

Also Norte Maar will be presenting The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Show at 20 Pratt Street, Rouses Point. This show spotlights photographs as well as films of the dance duo. The exhibition will be from July 6 through 31, with the opening reception being on Thursday, July 13 6-8p.m.

Norte Maar will be offering the Summer Conservatory for third time. North Country artists have difficulty securing the connections and funding necessary for the next level of their learning but Summer Conservatory offers a chance. From July 17 to 28 dancers from around the area as well as New York City, and even Quebec, have a chance to study under professional instructors and dance masters. Classes for intermediate to advanced students will be held at the Civic Center, Rouses Point. This year classes will also be offered to adult beginners, a chance to expand their flexibility with a sort of pilates-ballet workout. Master teachers include Julia K. Gleich from London and Ernesta Corvino from New York City.

As if that’s not enough, Norte Maar will hold the third annual Fete De Danse at the Civic Center in Rouses Point on July 27 at 7:30p.m. This concert “has a huge variety”, said Norte Maar President Julia Gleich. “You get a little bit of everything.” With a combination of dancers featuring Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet of London and and New York City, joined by the Burklyn Ballet Theatre of Vermont, Racoco Productions from New York City, the Short School of Irish Dancing from Montreal, and other guests, the dance concert is sure to be a hit as in previous summers. The proceeds from this event go to the old train station.

Gleich and Andrew do not stop there, but continue with the Wal-Mart Ballet. Also in its third year, the ballet is actually performed right outside of Wal-Mart in the Consumer Plaza, Plattburgh. “Ballet is notorious for being inaccessible”, explains Andrew. With this ballet however, cost and location are not an obstacle. On Saturday, July 29, there will be performances every half hour from 11a.m. to 12 noon, bringing the show to you while you shop. Gleich choreographs the performance with a blend of classic dance mixed with modern dance; this year’s theme is the Romantic ballet  La Sylphide. The event originally began at a downtown festival in New York City. From dancing in a drained pool, to dancing in front of a busy store, the performance begins to grow every year.

The diversity and culture of these events this summer combine to become SummerDAnce: RP06, ” a month-long celebration of art and performance in the Village of Rouses Point” presented by Norte Maar.

For more information visit or call Director Jason Andrew at (646) 361-8512.


Breaking Boundaries, Partners in Crime: an Interview with Julia K. Gleich and Jason Andrew
By Keshia Clukey, Contributing Writer
JILL Magazine, Press-Republican, Jun 26, 2006 

“I exist in a man’s world,” said Julia Gleich, choreographer and director. “Women dominate at lower levels.” Ballet is a world where men more frequently run the show. However, Gleich does not fit into this role.

“She is a thriving, working woman,” said Norte Maar Director Jason Andrew.

Currently, Gleich maintains the role of ballet lecturer at LABAN, London, UK. Not only is she the Director of Choreography at London Studio Centre, London, UK, but she is also the President of Norte Maar. Gleich also runs her own company, Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet. She is at the very top in her field.

Gleich has a Mathematics and Arts Administration degree along with a Masters Degree in Ballet from the University of Utah. She also studied at The School of American Ballet.

It was at the University of Utah however, where the true story begins with the start of a beautiful friendship. It was there that Gleich and Andrew first met, Julia as his ballet teacher.

Norte Maar Director Jason Andrew grew up in Utah. He had studied ballet when he was younger, but his father did not approve of it. He had only seen real ballet on TV, and his retired dance teacher had no enthusiasm. He ended up falling into his father’s words, “you can’t live and dance your way through life.”

He stopped dancing, but did excel as a track athlete. He qualified for the Olympics, but an unjury kept him from proceeding. Andrew decided to go to the University of Utah, which was the first university to offer a Master of Fine Arts in ballet.

“It turns out you can live and dance your way through life,” Andrew said smiling.

He and Gleich met at the university. She had not been thrilled with concentuional ballet and had also decided to take a step back and go to college.

What makes a track athlete and ballet dancer come together to form a dynamic duo? Drives and ideas.

From that point Jason moved to New York City and supported Julia with her company. They both continued onward, Gleich with her directing and choreographing, and Andrew as Gallery Director and Archivist.

Through Norte Maar, the two and others like them came together to create a unique learning environment giving individuality to and empowering artists.

Andrew moved up to Rouses Point from New York City, drawn to it by the beauty of the area. It was here that he realized how difficult it is for dancers and artists to move to the next level.

Norte Maar is the answer. They are able to use city connections as well as outside funding to help local artists excel. The Summer Conservatory along with Fete De Danse, and the Wal-Mart Ballet gave both Andrew and Gleich a chance to use their shared ideals.

Gleich was turned off by the devaluing individual identity” that classic ballet usually teaches. The affect of “cloning” one dancer as Andrew put it, is broken away from with these programs.

Gleich is one of the master teachers for the conservatory. “I don’t do syllabus teaching,” said Julia. That is, learning and being tested on over and over again. Julia hopes to bring “twenty-first century values to the dance world.”

Instead of being consumed by the petty things such as having dancers focus on having the “ideal foot”, and physically fitting the mold for ballet otherwise being scorned for not, Julia as well as Jason agree on one thing. Ballet can sometimes “miss the idea that it’s okay to have fun and not be so serious of everything,” said Gleich. “Ballet can be deep but not limited.”

The summer workshop allows access to dancers hat it might not normally be given to. Chances to mix it up with all different kinds of dance styles combined under Gleich’s choreography create a unique experience both liberating and educational.

The fact that there are dancers coming from other countries, including Gleich and her London Dance Company, makes it not only interesting to share differing techniques, but also challenging.

Not letting boundaries keep her down, Julia continues to teach, and thrive as a very driven oman in an industry not usually run by such.

Gleich and Andrew remain friends after 13 years working together. This is Norte Maar’s third year presenting its summer events and it continues to be growing under the vision of its groundbreaking duo.

Rouses Point a key site

Rouses Point a key site
by Jason Andrew
Press-Republican, Apr 3, 2006 

To the editor: The Press-Republican suggested in “Vigor, optimism still sound good,” (Thursday, March 16, 2006) that the key to marketing the potential of the North Country is “for the disparate parts to join together…”

The newspaper would be pleased to know that since 2004 Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts has been doing just that: uniting cultural forces throughout the North Country to present creative programs in visual, literary, and performing arts. Norte Maar has collaborated with such entities as the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, City of Plattsburgh, Evergreen Valley Nursing Home, Guibord’s School of Dance, North Country Cultural Center for the Arts to name just a few.

But Norte Maar has most famously paired with the Rouses Point Historical Society and for the past two years has brought ballet to the North Country in the form of summer concert of such artistry that it transcends the ice rink where the dance is performed.

Audiences and artists alike will be thrilled to know that Norte Maar and the Rouses Point Historical Society will again unite this summer when we present the ambitious:

SUMMERDANCE:RP06, a month-long celebration of art and performance.

SUMMERDANCE will feature the return of Norte Maar’s Fete de Danse (27 July), and will include the summer conservatory of dance (17-28 July), a photography exhibition and film series featuring that famous duo of the dance floor Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers (6-31 July), and much, much more.

But these fabulous events will not be taking place in the Press-Republican’s promising Quadrant of Hope (i.e. Lake Placid, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Plattsburgh, and “all points in between”). We’ll be enjoying our own renaissance further North in our beautiful Village of Rouses Point, at the Civic Center to be exact!

Jason Andrew
Rouses Point

Fete De Danse Returns July 28

Fete De Danse Returns July 28
Lake Champlain Weekly – July 20, 2005

ROUSES POINT (NY) – On July 28, 2005 dance returns to the Rouses Point Civic Center.  the second annual Fete de Dance, co-sponsored by Norte Maar and the Rouses Point Historical Society, will feature performances by Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet of London, the Albany Berkshire Ballet, the Burklyn Ballet Theatre, and the Short School of Irish Dancing.

Again, Norte Maar has commissioned renowned choreographer Julia Gleich to produce an original full-length ballet for the event.

“This requires tremendous effort,” explained Norte Maar Director Jason Andrew.  “Most choreographers work months with students and dancers familiar to them to produce a full-length work.  Julia is producing one in three weeks with dancers whom she has just met.”

The piece, which remains untitled, will be set to the American Dream Quartet by composer, musicologist and P.D.Q. Bach biographer Peter Schickele.

“The selection is an appropriate piece for Rouses Point,” said Gleich, speaking after a grueling day of working with dancers. “It’s classical, then moves to jazz riffs and in another section breaks into a square dance. It’s an American piece, combining the earthy and the ethereal and the theme of divided desires. Its water motifs fit well into the backdrop of a village on the lake.”

Gleich’s cast of nine dancers come from Canada and across the U.S. and includes four local dancers: Katie Duffy of Rouses Point and Jeannine Kemp, Elissa Krockett and Sierra Boyea, all of Plattsburgh.

This year, Gleich was joined by guest choreographer Molly Faulkner, who filled in when guest choreographer Ernesta Corvino was forced to cancel. Faulkner is on the Faculty of Dance at Palomar College and recently completed her doctoral thesis in dance history.


2nd “Fête de Danse” Summer Dance Concert
The Islander, July 12, 2005

Norte Maar and the Rouses Point/Champlain Historical Society are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Fête de Danse, on Thursday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center in the Village of Rouses Point.  The evening will feature the return of Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet, (NYC/London, UK) performing a new ballet by choreographer Julia K. Gleich. Appearing are invite guests: Albany Berkshire Ballet, Burklyn Ballet Theatre, North Country Ballet Ensemble, and the Short School of Irish Dancing.

Tickets: $12 Adults, $10 seniors/students, $5 children, event free for children under age 8. All tickets will be $15 at the door. Ticket Hotline (518) 297-6513.

Fête de Dance 2005 is made possible in part by a grant from the Marilyn M. Simpson Charitable Trust and the Ruth and Ernest REynolds Fund for New Ballet; the generous sponsorship through The Field, and the contributions of many divine individuals; and with public funds through the decentralization program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Albany Berkshire Ballet, Albany, NY/Berkshire/MA, was founded in 1960 by artistic director Madeline Cantarella Culpo. This is the company’s first appearance at Fête de Danse. Originally known as the Berkshire Ballet Guild and later as the Berkshire Civic Ballet, it was originally intended as a performance outlet for the school’s advanced students. The aspirations and abilities of the students soon pushed the company in a professional direction. Renamed the Berkshire Ballet in 1975, it emerged as a full-time professional company expanded again by establishing an additional home in Albany, New York. Once again, its name changed to reflect its new status. The Albany Berkshire Ballet is nationally recognized for its versatility in performing both classical and contemporary dance works with excellence. Call (518) 420-0660 for more information about Albany Berkshire Ballet.

Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts, Rouses Point, exists to unite the cultural forces of the North Country whereby presenting all that is exciting and happening within the artistic community. Norte Maar aspires to be a premiere resource connecting musicians, dancers, and visual artists with venues and each other. Further, Norte Maar supports the artist offering unique exhibition opportunities and unusual performances.  It aims to be a leader in building collaborative partnership between other grass root organizations thereby fostering artistic expression within the North Country and beyond. Norte Maar was established in 2004 by a visual artist and a choreographer to encourage, promote, and support innovative projects in music, dance, and the visual arts. Call (518) 297-3793 or visit for more information.

North Countryman, July 24, 2004

By Ann Hawksby

Thanks to the work of Jason Andrew of Norte Maar, a grass-roots cultural promotion organization, the Rouses Point Historical Society will present a summer dance festival.

Proceeds from the dance concert will benefit the Historical Society and their quest to refurbish the old D&H Railroad Station, as well as preserve and display the area’s rich heritage.

The Village of Rouses Point purchased the old D&H Railroad Station, and have been open to the Historical Society’s ideas and intent to revamp the building, inside and out. The plans include a display of railroad artifacts, photographs, books, papers, and clothing.

“We are very excite about this event,” said Mary Racicot of the Historical Society,”we are hoping for a very successful evening.”

She said the society was anxious the railroad project a reality.

Rouses Point Fete de Danse 2004 will feature dances from London, Ireland, and all over the U.S. starting with Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet.

Owner, choreographer, and teacher, Julia K. Gleich, of London, is happy to have the opportunity to share her dances with the people of the Northern Tier, according to Andrew of Norte Maar.

Gleich, whose choreographic residencies have taken her to the Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont, University of Northern Colorado, Island Moving Company, RI, University of California, and Dancer’s Workshop in Wyoming, is currently a lecturer at LABAN Centre for Contemporary Dance in London.

Also appearing at Fete de Danse 2004, are the Burklyn Ballet Theatre of Johnson, Vt. — a summer workshop attended by about 180 dancers from all over the world, the North Country Ballet ensemble of Plattsburgh under the direction of Debbie Guibord, and Ryan’s Irish dance Troupe, let by Kathy Ryan of Chazy.

Dancers from the Burklyn Ballet Theatre, which was founded in 1976, have performed in Scotland, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, under the direction of the talented Joanne Whitehill.

The North Country Ballet Ensemble, which was founded in 1986, consists of a collaboration of the area’s best dancers led by a wonderful team of teachers and enthusiasts.

Ryan’s Irish Dance Troupe is well known in the North Country for their exciting performances, including River Dance and traditional Irish dances.

“Norte Maar aspires to be a premiere resource connecting musicians, dancers, and visual artists with venues and each other.” The newly established organization seeks to, “unite the cultural forces of North Country whereby presenting all that is exciting and happening within the artistic community.”

The Fete de Danse 2004 concert will be held July 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rouses Point Halstead Civic Center, with a reception and refreshments afterwards.

Advance tickets are available by calling 297-3035. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 seniors, $5 children unless under the age of 8, which are free of charge. Tickets at the door are $12.


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