Voyage de Danse' to honor Champlain

ROUSES POINT - The history and life of explorer Samuel de Champlain will soon be told in a way that it's never been told before - through the art of dance.

This summer, Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts, in collaboration with the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society, will present "Voyage de Danse: The Samuel de Champlain Ballet." The event, which was recently announced, will celebrate the Champlain Quadricentennial through the art of dance, and is one that has been years in the making, said Jason Andrew, the organization's director.

"We've been preparing for the quadricentennial for the past two years," said Andrew. "We knew we wanted to do something that would be very special, including the community and bringing attention of the celebration to a larger audience in New York and Quebec."

The production, which will be part of Norte Maar's annual summer celebration of the arts, will include a stellar list of performing companies from around the world, said Andrew.

According to information provided by Andrew, Voyage de Danse is "curiously poised between the past and the present," speaking of the "romantic longing for the unattainable."

Samuel de Champlain serves as the hero of the performance, in search of adventure, fame and fortune. One night, he encounters a woman of "extraordinary beauty and grace" at a lavish ball in the French Court. She is called away and his quest to be reunited with his lost love begins.

Champlain's quest then becomes the narrative thread that will connect various performances within the ballet and tell the story of his arrival in the New World and exploration of the valley which today bears his name.

"This is a really great love story, a very imaginative performance," said Andrew. "We know so much about Champlain's travels through his journals but this takes a look at what could have driven him to be such a great explorer."

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