All posts tagged North Countryman

Camp Brings Culture to Kids, Adults

by Sarah L. Cronk, North Countryman, Plattsburgh, NY

Feature covering Norte Maar’s collaboration with artist Austin Thomas of Pocket Utopia in Rouses Point. Together, the the organizations ran a summer camp at Rouses Point Elementary.


An interactive learning experience at Camp Pocket U(topia)

by Sarah L. Cronk, North Countryman, Plattsburgh, NY

Artist and founder of now closed gallery space Pocket Utopia Austin Thomas collaborated with Norte Maar’s Jason Andrew to bring a summer camp to Rouses Point. The feature encourages families to participate in the interactive and expressive day camp.


Norte Maar brings infusion of culture to young students

by Jeremiah S. Papineau, North Countryman, Plattsubrgh, NY

Norte Maar’s Latin Culture day at Peru Intermediate School was featured on the front page of North Countryman. The event included dance and music performances.

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.”


Civic Center to host second annual Fête de Dance
North Countryman – July 9, 2005

ROUSES POINT – Norte Maar and Rouses Point Historical Society are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Fête de Dance, Thursday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center.  The evening will feature the return of Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet (NYC/London, UK) performing a new ballet by choreographer Julia K. Gleich. Also appearing are invited 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 is free to children under age 8.  All tickets at the door will be $15.  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.

Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet (London, UK) is under the artistic direction of Julia K. Gleich and is the featured company at Fête de Dance.  Gleich Dances is the organization for the creative, collaborative, and educational work of choreographer, teacher and director Julia K. Gleich. The company has presented in New York City and throughout the United States and Europe.  A renowned  ballet choreographer and instructor, Ms. Gleich is currently lecturer at LABAN Centre for Contemporary Dance, London, UK.  Ms. Gleich’s choreographic residencies have included: Burklyn Ballet Theatre, VT, University of Northern Colorado, CO, Island Moving Company, RI, University of California-Irvine, CA, Dancer’s Workshop, WY, and recently Norte Maar, Rouses Point/Plattsburgh, NY, among others.  Call (518) 297-3793 for more information about Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet.

Exhibit to feature local artist


Exhibit to feature local artists
North Countryman Northern Tier – January 1, 2005 

PLATTSBURGH – North Country Cultural Center for the Arts (Plattsburgh) in association with Norte Maar For Collaborative Projects in the Arts (Rouses Point) announces the exhibition titled Metaphor in Structure, featuring three of Plattsburgh’s most promising emerging artists. On exhibit will be new works by painter James Juron, sculptor James Ryan, and video artist Ryan J. Wilson. An artist reception will be held from 5 – 7 p.m. with a informal gallery talk with the artist beginning at 4 p.m.

Throughout the history of art, artists have referenced symbols, played with allegories, and channeled myths to create personal notations–illusions of the world–furthering insight into psyche and offering comparisons to the physical world.  These three emerging artists, use distinctly different modes of expression: for Juron it is paint, for Ryan it is sculpture, and for Wilson it is the film.  Their work is representative of unique minds, skilled hands, and experienced eyes, yet each has a similar accent: their allusion to metaphor.

James Juron, a recent graduate from the painting program at SUNY Plattsburgh, paints figures straddled by architecture.  “They are a combination of the psychological and the observed,” he describes.  Mr. Juron’s dark paintings, elicit an inner light playing on psychological depictions of states of being: hope, despair, grace, and absence.

James Ryan, a recent graduate from the sculpture program at SUNY Plattsburgh, will present new works in steel.  “The strongest feelings I have about my work are linked to its reality and sense of urgency,” Mr. Ryan states.  His sculpture plays on our perception of various materials and questions their purposes, abilities, attributes, and strengths.

For more information call the NCCCA at 563-1604.

Nureyev: A night of art exhibition

Rudolf Nureyev in "Thge Ropes of Time"North Countryman, October 9, 2004

By Thomas Grant Bruso

The opening gala at Norte Maar will be a night to remember.

On Oct. 22, from 7-9 p.m. at Norte Maar in Rouses Point, an opening gala will display various works by photographers and, of course, the evening will highlight works by Rudolf Nureyev. The event will be held to benefit the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York.

Norte Maar will present Nureyev: “The Ropes of Time,” an exhibition of photographs featuring the Russian-born ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev in his 1970 performance of the ballet, “The Ropes of Time.”

Norte Maar was established in 2007 by a visual artist and a choreographer to encourage and support innovative projects in music, dance, and the visual arts. Recent projects have included: The Walmart Ballet; Dance Plattsburgh: a workshop with international ballet choreograpger Julia K. Gleich; Fete de Danse: A Summer Dance Concert; and Art at Evergreen: rotating contemporary art exhibition series.

The event will showcase different facets of personality and artistry, ranging from a handful of artists.

Twenty four black and white photographs will feature Nureyev performing his star role as “The Traveler” captured in prints by legendary dance photographer Leslie E. Spatt, and others by Frederika Davis, Edward Griffiths, and Louis Peres. That night, people will also catch other exhibits: two lithographs, portraits of Nureyev, by Andy Warhol.

The evening will be filled with history and entertainment. People who attend the event will be educated and enlightened on the life of Rudolf Nuryev spanning from 1938-1993. The period delves into the life of one of the most dramatic images of the 20th century. Overnight, Nureyev became a superstar, as renowned for his flamboyant lifestyle and his fearsome artistry. Nureyev also danced more than 40 roles over a period of 28 years with the Royal Ballet, London. “The Ropes of Time” premiered March 2, 1970, and was the first full-scale ballet created specifically for Nureyev by choreographer Rudy van Dantzig.

The event will not only entertain people, but educate them as well. Norte Maar will illustrate what it has offered to audiences in the past. The evening will depict Norte Maar’s unique exhibition opportunities and the unusual performances that it presented to the residents of the Northern Tier of New York.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door (business attire requested). The evening will include light hors d’oeuvres and wine tasting by Smithfield Discount Liquors. Following the opening gala, the exhibition will be open to the public by appointment only. Call (518)-297-3793 for additional information and tickets, or visit

The event will help benefit the AIDS Council of Northeast New York. This is a not-for-profit human service agency whose mission is to reduce the risk, fear and incidence of HIV/AIDS and promote understanding of their needs. Visit for more information about the AIDS Council and its services.

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.


North Countryman, June 12, 2004

By Ann Hawksby

It upsets Jason Andrew to hear the senior art students at Plattsburgh State University say they plan to leave upon graduation to find an area with more culture, such as NYC.

“I call it the Plattsburgh plague,” Andrew said, “people are always saying ‘that’s pretty good for the area,’ they think there’s no culture here like there is in Burlington.”

“Well they just have to look around, to find that is simply not true.”

His new grassroots organization will help local artists connect with others and become more visible.

Norte Maar will “unite the cultural forces of North Country whereby presenting all that is exciting and happening within the artistic community,” he said.

Andrew said Norte Maar will act as a presenting organization, dedicated to promote collaborative projects in the arts, including music, dance, and visual arts. Through this new concept Andrew will also provide encouragement and support to local artists — including those in NY, Vermont, and across the Quebec border.

In doing so, Andrew seeks to enhance artistic expression in the North Country, showing skeptics that “it’s all right here.”

Andrew, a visual artist and dancer, founded the organization in 2004, after settling in the area.

“And the nice thing is that I will help artists free of charge,” he added. He can do so because of grant writing experience, and “the generosity of divine individuals.”

In 1995 Andrew earned a BFA from the university of Utah, on a full athletic scholarship. His emphasis was on painting and drawing, but he also took an interest in Art history and Ballet.

Andrew’s art residency was at the Vermont Studio Center, in Johnson, then he moved on to NYC to the Art Students League of NY, where he remained until last year.

He has extensive experience, including four years as Director of Art Galleries, beginning with the Reese Galleries in NYC. From there he became the Director of Lillian Heidenburg Fine Art, of NYC and West Palm Beach, then the Kouros Gallery in NYC and Ridgefield, CT.

His own works of visual art have been exhibited in several galleries throughout the U.S., including NYC, Washington, D.C.

Andrew is currently a Ballet Instructor with Adirondack Advocacy for Gifted Children, which is based in Plattsburgh, and is the Arts Editor for Lake Champlain Weekly.

Since the early 1990’s Andrew has been collaborating with international ballet choreographer, Julie K. Gleich, both as a dancer with her company, and organizing various promotions, including the Dance Now Festival in NYC.

He is very excited to offer the upcoming Dance Plattsburgh in affiliation with Guibord’s School of Dance. It is a workshop with Gleich, in which new dances will be created, then publicly performed.

Registration is open now for the two-week workshop that welcomes ballet dancers from beginner to expert, ages seven and older. It will run from July 19 – 31.

Andrew is working on plans to offer the performance to the village of Rouses Point, with the proceeds to be offered to the Revitalization Project or the Historical Society, though details have not yet been finalized. He is meeting with officials from the Village of Rouses Point later in the week to do so.

He is also working on Lan Sat, a video project to be presented July 2 – 9 at the Battle of Plattsburgh Monument. Ryan Wilson created the film by editing and reformatting actual footage from Gemini 19, the 1968 NASA lunar orbit mission.

Lan Sat will be a silent film projected from the top of the Rotunda roof at City hall onto the sides of the Monument. It will be presented following the scheduled concerts during the Plattsburgh Mayor’s Cup.

Other Norte Maar projects include the Twenty-four Tutus and a Parking Lot, which is a ballet to be performed by July 31 at the Walmart parking lot in Plattsburgh. It will be presented free of charge at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30 a.m., featuring a recruitment of dancers from area schools.

Andrew said the project is designed to introduce ballet to unsuspecting Walmart shoppers, and also for those who have already developed an appreciation for the fine art dance.

“How often will you see 24 pink tutus performing in front of a shopping center?” he laughed.

Andrew and his partner recently bought a house in Rouses Point, which has become another one of his projects. The older structure is being refurbished, inside and out. Once complete, Norte Maar will host an open house to bring together the artists and the community.

There is culture right here in Rouses Point and the surrounding communities.

For more information visit, or call Jason at 518-297-3793.


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