The Hausers, in their former lives, were both involved in the world of live performance. Judith was a dancer with the Eliot Feld Ballet in New York City, and before becoming a permanent Ulster County resident, she danced in CBT's annual Nutcracker Suite as the Sugar Plum Fairy in 1985. Peter is a former set designer and production manager. The Hausers are hoping that their gift will serve as an example to others who are able to "step up to the plate," as CBT board president Theresa Vanyo said. "Their passion is compelling. It's really about the opportunity for young people to experience dance and art in a community; and in this time, art is the first thing that can go away. The light switch can be turned on for them." The Hausers currently co-own a business called VisionPilots, a Stone Ridge-based company that stages special events and meetings.
The new choreography is by Broadway veteran Davis Robertson, a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet and the man who told Mikhail Baryshnikov where to go - that is, where to put his feet - in the film The Company. Said Robertson in the press release, "If you invest yourself in your community in several ways, it only builds upon itself. This type of cultural activity where you have new work happening...should be tenfold as exciting that something like this is coming out of your own small home community."
Other stage professionals who are involved and who also make the Hudson Valley their home are Richard Prouse, a Rhinebeck set designer whose recent credits include Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot and Mary Poppins; and costume designer Alixandra Englund, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. Lighting will be by Michael Piotrowski of Middletown, who has previously worked with the Washington Ballet and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The principal parts will be filled by New York City pros, but the balance of the company will consist of students of the Anne Hebard School of Ballet in Kingston. The music is Mendelssohn's, including the famous "Wedding March" - so familiar that confirmed bachelors shake in their Reeboks when they hear just the first few bars. People new to the ballet shouldn't fear not being able to follow the plot, said Vanyo. "People who have never seen a ballet in their lives will be completely swept up in the story, and you will become a part of the story."
Performances will be Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. at UPAC at [?]000 Broadway in Kingston. Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students and seniors. They can be purchased by calling the UPAC box office at (845) 339-6088, or by going online to TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com. "For many of these kids, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Vanyo; and for many in the community, the same must be true.