Unique Offering of Norte Maar
by Amy Colgan-Niemeyer
North Countryman, Feb 10, 2007
Plattsburgh – Norte Maar is preparing to bring top visual and performing artists and instructors to the North Country again this year.
Two Mediums, One World
A variety of events are planned, beginning this month with an exhibition of Hermine Ford’s paintings and John Newman’s sculptures, presented by Plattsburgh State Art Museum in collaboration with Norte Maar. The exhibition is called “Two Mediums, One World.” Text by Raphael Rubinstein, senior editor at Art in America, will accompany the works.
Ford, who teaches at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, combines textiles and mosaics with painting and drawing which is inspired by the natural world–landscapes, bends in rivers, shapes of stones. John Newman is a sculptor of metaphors. He mixes metal and stone, paper and glass with advanced technology and primal artifacts.
“These are two very different artists,” said Jason Andrew, director of Norte Maar. “Both are probably two of the most preeminent artists that are alive and working in New York City today.”
The exhibit will include about ten sculptures by Newman and a number of pieces by Ford including large, shaped canvasses, works on paper and charcoal drawings. In addition, a wall installation that Ford created specifically for Plattsburgh State Art Museum will include some of her smaller paper pieces “floating off the wall.”
“It’s really exceptional to be able to bring their work up to Plattsburgh,” Andrew said. “and let all of the young artists that are there, and the community, experience something that is quite different.”
Legends in Ballet
“Margot & Rudy,” will open in July, featuring photographs of ballet legends Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.
Fonteyn and Nureyev met in 1961, shortly after the latter defected from the former Soviet Union. Their first performance together was at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in “Giselle,” in Febuary 1962.
“Their performance together brought the house down,” Andrew Said. “and from there on they became the most famous partners in ballet history.”
They were a team until Fonteyn’s retirement in the late 1970s.
Photographs of the dancers before they met, of that first performance together, and of their subsequent years as dance partners, as well as books and other information will ve on display.
One of three performing arts experience offered by Norte Maar is The Summer Conservatory. In its fourth year, this summer dance programme offers aspiring dancers the chance to study with top instructors.
To accommodate the schedules of the many different dancers Andrew is trying to bring in, this year’s Conservatory has been pushed ahead from the last two weeks in July to the first two weeks in August.
Julia Gleich is returning with her Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet company from London. Andrew noted that they are working on bringing up a specialist in one of three modern dance techniques named after teacher- choreographer, Merce Cunningham, and dancer-choreographers, Jose Limon and Martha Graham.
A special ballet, choreographed by Gleich, based on the history of famous modern painter, Fernand Laeger is planned as well. Leger stopped in Rouses Point on his way to an opening in Montreal in 1943 and fell in love with it. He spent three summers there. Every dancer who trains at the Conservatory will be dancing in this new ballet.
“There’s a lot of opportunities [for dancers] to train, but our faculties are really to generate performers,” Andrew said.
“To help them learn in class and to train and then be able to perform.”
Also on tap is Off-Set 2007 which will feature various dance installations taking place around the North Country where people would not normally see a dance. Last year, they presented a ballet in the parking lot of Platsburgh’s Wal-Mart. This year, dance and theatrical companies will perform at locations specified on a map.
“It’ll be spread out over days and times, so it’ll be kind of a treasure hunt of the North Country,” Andrew said.
On the night of Fete de Danse ,as people arrive for the event, the Off-Set companies will be stationed in and around the Civic Center, participating in the free program.
The Fete de Danse 2007
“We’re shooting to try and have one very strict ballet company, and contemporary ballet company, tap,” Andrew said.
“and we’re looking also into a dance group that does Capoeira, which is the Brazilian fighting dance.”
Fete de Danse is present by Norte Maar in affiliation with the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society. This year they received a sizable grant from New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) which will help fund the dance companies and some event itself. Each year some historical influence is included in the program, such as the past piece entitled, “D&H.”
“They are great people, so passionate about teh area where they live.”
“It has been a wonderful experience,” added Geri Favreau, Historical Society presedent.
“The Historical Society looks forward to working with Jason and making history from many, many years to come.”