Ballet Beyond Borders | World-Class Dance

Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre summons a Ballet Nation to Missoula Jan. 9-13

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Ballet Beyond Borders: Merritt Moore
Ballet Beyond Borders guest artist Merritt Moore is a professional ballet dancer and quantum physicist.

Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary season and the world premiere of “Triple B – Ballet Beyond Borders” Jan. 9-13, 2018 in Missoula.

The inaugural event builds upon the success of RMBT’s pilot collaboration with the Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE, USA), held in Missoula in 2016 and 2017. BBB presents world-class dance talent for five days in Missoula, with the goal of inspiring both the dancers and the public to develop new connections and understanding about the world on a global stage.

“While excellence is our goal, we also seek to preserve the heritage we passionately share. We will strive to improve, protect, inspire, and connect the next generation of young artists with professionals of the highest caliber and with mentors that align with these ideals,” says Charlene Campbell Carey, founder of RMBT and executive director of the event.

“Dance is a cultural phenomenon and dancers are natural diplomats, so Ballet Beyond Borders is a Ballet Nation that serves as a catalyst for promoting cooperation and easing conflict by creating mutual understanding and using dance to advocate for human rights, justice, and global peace,” she says.

BBB is open to professional and amateur dancers and students from around the world and offers daily workshops, stage experience, cultural programs and a diplomacy conference, in addition to the competition.

BBB participants mark their footprints along a lesser-known trail in what Campbell describes as “a quiet and picturesque ballet neighborhood and a community aligned with your core values.”

“Please bring your dances and your stories, your technique, and your artistry to our ballet nation and western frontier,” she adds.

Among the highlights:

  • Opening Night: Patricia Kelly, Gene Kelly’s wife, offers “Gene Kelly the Legacy,” 6 p.m. Jan. 9 at The Wilma. Her one-woman show celebrates her husband’s legacy as an innovator, director, choreographer, dancer and diplomat.
  • The Dance Challenge: Dancers learn daily, Tuesday-Friday, from an array of accomplished teachers, including Charla Genn, currently on the ballet faculty of the Juilliard School; Broadway veteran Leslie Stevens; award-winning South African dancer Andile Ndlovu; Caridad Martinez, a former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Cuba; Merritt Moore, a professional ballet dancerand quantum physicist; Charmaine Hunter, a former principal ballerina of Arthur Mitchel’s Dance Theatre of Harlem; and many more.
  • Public School Cultural Exchanges: The Missoula Writing Collaborative joins an international cadre of dancers for presentations Jan. 9 at Lewis & Clark and Rattlesnake schools in Missoula and Jan. 11 in Dixon on the Flathead Reservation.
  • The Art of Diplomacy: How the Arts Empower and Transform Our World: Dance performances and talks by leading experts from around the world explore how the arts shape international relations, build bridges across different communities and promote cross-cultural understanding, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 13 in the third-floor University Center Ballroom.Learn how dance is transforming science and medical research; how Cuba took the Latin American dance scene by storm, and how dance is saving and empowering youths in South Africa. Listen to world-class coaches offer tips on how to become and succeed as an international performer and a global leader, and see dance performances from Panama, South Africa, Korea and Montana.
  • Film Festival: Nanette Melville screens her film, “Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance” and a trailer for her new film on dance in Cuba at 6:30 p.m. in the UM Masquer Theater. Melville is a filmmaker and photographer and has worked for The New York Times, the National Ballet of Cuba, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Juilliard.
  • The Gala Finale: International stars and BBB winners will perform in styles ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at the UM Dennison Theater, with an after-party for all participants at the University Center Ballroom. The finale is the celebration and culmination of five days of global cultural exchange and the results of the international dance challenge and diplomacy conference.

For details, visit or call 406-549-5155.