Champlain ballet postponed, lack of state funding cited

ROUSES POINT - An interpretation of French explorer Samuel de Champlain's life planned to be told through the art of dance has been postponed.

"Voyage de Danse: The Samuel de Champlain Ballet," was supposed to presented this July by Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts, in collaboration with the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society. However, because anticipated grant money from the New York State Council on the Arts has yet to be received to help fund the Fete de Danse 2009 event, plans have been put on hold.

During a meeting of the historical society May 20, president Geri Favreau read from a letter from Norte Maar director Jason Andrew in which Andrew stated his displeasure with the news.

"We find ourselves not only without the funds to book our out-of-town performers but also at this late date, we have no time to organize the event," Favreau read from Andrew's letter. "It's been a difficult situation for Norte Maar and for me, personally, but we must postpone this year's Fete de Danse until state contracts have been signed and money is available to us."

"The key word in there is 'postpone,'" said Favreau. "That means it's not going to happen in July, but [Andrew] and I have talked and maybe it will happen in September or October."

The Fete de Danse ballet was to have coincided with the timing of many major events in the region celebrating the 400th anniversary of Champlain's exploration of North America. The ballet was scheduled to have three nightly performances Thursday, July 23, through Saturday, July 25 at the Rouses Point Civic Center on Lake Street.

There is no word as to how many performances the event will have if and when funding is received from the state.

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