VIBE: Montana's own ballet company

vibe international missoula


Encore Presentation of International Dance Challenge, Diplomacy Conference & Film Festival Dedicated to Building Human Connections

(Missoula, MT) – The Vienna International Ballet Experience has announced its official lineup dedicated to deepening human and cultural connections through the arts.

“The State of the Heart” is the theme of the five-day international dance challenge, diplomacy conference and film festival in Missoula January 10-14, 2017.

Legendary ballet icons will join a host of rising international stars both as part of the renowned jury and on-stage as competitors. All events are free to the public with the exception of the final VIBE USA Gala which will be held January 14th, 2017 at the Wilma Theatre.


“This year’s theme highlights the important role of dance and the arts in building cultural connections and tearing down walls that keep humanity from collaborating for the common good,” said Charlene Campbell Carey, VIBE USA executive director and artistic director of the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre. “We are proud to be partnering with educators throughout the Missoula Public Schools and at the University of Montana in providing a world-class cultural experience for students, free of charge thanks to our sponsors.”
“After a successful first year of VIBE in Missoula and Vienna with over 500 participants we are very much looking forward to this exciting experience in 2017 with more Jury members, more workshops and categories. We are proud to actively help each artist develop and prepare for an international career while also bringing a unique cultural event to our communities in Vienna and in Missoula,” said Gregor Hatala, President and Chairman of VIBE International.
Montanans Featured: 

  • 12 year-old Ruby Jenni, Rocky Mountain Ballet student from Missoula, will be returning from a semester abroad on a full scholarship she won at the VIBE USA premiere in 2016. She studied with Annarella Sanchez at her prestigious Cuban methodology academy in Leiria, Portugal.
  • Salish Kootenai Dancer Louie Plant, who competed last year, will now be serving on the open jury and will be leading and directing the intertribal pow wow.
  • Katy Clay, Rocky Mountain Ballet student will be returning from Vienna to compete. Clay studied at the Sunrise Studios in Vienna on a full scholarship.
  • Montana’s own international ballet superstar, Maria Sascha Khan, of Pine Creek, MT will be at Fact & Fiction on Tuesday January 10th for a signing featuring her new book, “The Art of Movement.”

Rising Star Watch: 12-year-old Antonio Casalinho of Portugal wowed fans at last year’s VIBE Gala at the Wilma and will be returning to Missoula. Campbell Carey has dubbed him, “The Mozart of Ballet.” His father, Luis Casalinho, is a renowned conductor who will be working with the Missoula Youth Symphony throughout the week of VIBE USA.
Must-see Gala Performer: Venus Villa, Cuban prima ballerina from Havana will be performing at the final VIBE USA gala on January 14th at the Wilma. (featured photo)

NEW! Downtown Missoula VIBE Welcoming Events January 10th
5PM Montgomery Distillery: VIBE participants from Africa will share rich stories and art from South Africa, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.
6PM Governor’s Room at the Florence Hotel: The Missoula Youth Symphony and the Missoula Writing Collaborative are joining forces Tuesday January 10th to share music and writing inspired by “The State of the Heart.” Portugese guest conductor, Luis Casalinho, will lead the Missoula Youth Symphony. Writers will have the opportunity to have their works read to improv dance interpretations during the final VIBE Gala 2017 at the Wilma. The event will conclude with a Hip Hop dance class for the community.
Kickoff Square Dance at the Top Hat – community members are invited to kick up their heels and welcome international guests with a good ol’ fashioned Square Dance. Welcome event will be 5pm – 8pm at the Top Hat on Tuesday January 10th, 2017.
VIBE USA Dance Challenge: taking place exclusively on the UM Campus at the Dennison Theater January 10 – 14th and is free to the public. Join principal dancers and rising stars from Portugal, Spain, Russia, Africa, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Colombia and returning Missoula stars including former Rocky Mountain Ballet student, 12-year-old Ruby Jenni who will be returning from international study to participate in the challenge. Competition is free and open to the public. The Missoula Public Schools will be sending students to experience the competition throughout the week.
NEW! The Healthy Dancer Series: join experts from around the country for a series of discussion panels exploring mindful learning, positive self-imagery and healthy eating for dancers. VIBE USA is dedicated to fostering a healthy, safe and competitive environment for all participants.
Mansfield Diplomacy Conference: community members are invited to join internationally renowned artists and experts in foreign relations for the Art of Diplomacy Conference which will interweave world class discussions and performances to explore the impact of the arts and cultural exchange on international relations.
Film Festival: Madonna’s featured dancer and partner on the Blond Ambition tour, Carlton Wilborn, will be on an HIV discussion panel following the Montana premiere of “Strike A Pose,” January 12th, 2016 at the Roxy Theatre. On Friday January 13th, Raymond Wong will host the Jumping Frames International Dance Festival with curated films offering new ideas and experimental ground for choreographers and dancers.
Since the premiere event in Missoula last January, 100 VIBE USA participants have gone on to receive scholarships for international training, travel and global competition. In 2016, an estimated 6,000 people attended VIBE USA events throughout Missoula. Hundreds of out-of-state guests, international dancers, jury members, artists and lecturers booked hotels, shopped locally and provided a post-holiday economic boost to the community.
For rising stars, the events serve as an introduction to an international dance career, while giving Montanans the opportunity to experience a world-class cultural event. The VIBE USA 2017 jury includes legendary leaders of some of the most renowned dance schools around the world. From January 10ththrough the 14th 2017, the top professional dancers from around the globe will gather in Missoula along with Emmy-winning filmmakers, international diplomats, thought leaders and policy makers. In conjunction with the international juried dance competition, a film festival as well as a day-long forum on the role of arts and culture in international diplomacy, was hosted by the Mansfield Center.

VIBE USA is hosted by the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre in partnership with The University of Montana and The Mansfield Center thanks to our sponsors including The Drollinger Family Foundation, The Washington Foundation, The Missoulian, The Southgate Mall, The Gallagher Foundation, The Silver Foundation, Destination Missoula, Alpine Physical Therapy, The Pride Foundation, the Montana Museum of Arts and Culture, Mamalode and The Montgomery Distillery.
Charlene Campbell, VIBE USA director & Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre Artistic Director 


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