Old World Charm: Bear Dance in Bigfork

Professionals bring old world charm to Bear Dance on Bigfork Bay

By Constance See, Montana's Finest Homes

Bear Dance, an eclectic fusion of Old World and mountain rustic architecture in Bigfork, has a flurry of activity with contractors excitedly culminating their talents into the newest condo underway —  the Missouri.

Bear Dance is nine independently unique floor plans and element-themed condominiums on Bigfork Bay. Owners John and Marilyn Olson named each unique condo after a major river in Montana: Swan, Flathead, Yellowstone, Boulder, Missouri, Madison, Gallatin, Big Horn and Ruby.

Like the rivers, no two units are alike. Bear Dance represents a confluence of natural elements in the timelessness of Old World, with gas lamps, copper gutters, clay pot chimneys, brick, stone and massive reclaimed beams seemingly melded into one of the most stunning residential complexes in the state. Ron Incoronato of Incoronato and Company Master Builders, project general contractor, refers to this European-influenced complex as “Old World European Mountain Village Fusion.”   Incoronato has been with the development since its inception and has been an integral part of every phase, from detailed infrastructure to fine details. “This concept is a timeless European compound added onto over the centuries, evolving into a modern village,” he said.  

The sale of one of the waterfront units this past summer leaves only one waterfront unit available on the market, so the design teams began efforts last fall on the newest unit, the Missouri.  

Bear Dance in Bigfork

Bear Dance in Bigfork

Joyce Mitchell, broker of Locations Montana, is the exclusive sales representative of Bear Dance. The development on Bigfork Bay incorporates the interior design talents of Jane Starr of Jane Starr Interior Design. Starr, a seasoned designer with commercial and residential expertise, said the Missouri will feature what she calls Modern Mountain Rustic, a blend of European flair with the newest in Earth-friendly, stream-line, maintenance-free efficiency.

Viking Faux Finishes applied parts of vintage territorial maps of Montana to an entry stairwell-wall, then the wall was hand-plastered and oil glazed to reveal a weathered treasure map as an initial focus and unique introduction to the theme incorporated throughout the 3,423 square foot residence. Steve McLain and apprentice Bella McLain added their special touch throughout the Missouri, including metallic-stenciled quaking aspens on one master bedroom wall. Starr designed the rich and deeply-textured poplar bark, which was installed in the recess ceiling over the dining table. Complemented by the clean lines of band-sawn, white oak cabinetry throughout by Glacier Woodworking and slender, silver cabinetry hardware. This medley of texture and sleek, aged and new, soft and bold offers a refreshing, crisp style.   


Bear Dance in Bigfork bath


Glacier Woodworking, in business for 26 years, is a high-end residential cabinet shop, strictly custom-built to owner and architect’s specifications.

A blend of 100% wool Cavan carpeting in the bedrooms, and Siberian oak flooring compliments travertine tiles in the foyer, provided by Masterpiece Carpet One. Step from the travertine entryway, up the impressive stainless steel and glass bannister to the Great Room. Sunshine pours in through 16-feet of glass windows reaching up to the timbered cathedral ceiling. An open floor plan connects the upstairs balcony accented with its own fireplace, a brightly lit office, dining room and kitchen. It’s the perfect melding of classic and modern, cozy and open.

Lighting in the Missouri, is an exquisite example of breaking rules, champagne silver next to black, curves next to right angles, fabric next to metal, Cassie Guy, a consultant from Masterpiece Lighting One, said. “We thought about the lighting fixtures as art pieces. When you’re brave enough to put all these different elements together, it seems more intriguing and fun.”  

Another special touch is a filigreed, world globe chandelier that hangs above the game table. “This project is one of my favorite projects,”  Scott Ozegovich of Ozegovich Plastering said. His company worked on the interior and exterior plastering, Arcustone and other wall texturing techniques throughout all Bear Dance units.

All custom hand-hewn cherry doors and Alder trim, the interior and exterior painting, and the epoxy floors of the garages were done by the skilled hands of Smith Painting. In addition to all plumbing rough-in and finish, heating and A/C systems, all the concrete sidewalks and driveways at the Bear Dance complex have radiant systems installed by Touris Plumbing to eliminate the need for snow shoveling.


Locations Montana Real Estate

Joyce L. Mitchell, broker/owner 406-837-1800 Joyce@LocationsMontana.com

Incoronato & Company

406-250-2703 Ron@montanacontractor.com

Jane Starr Interior Design

406-837-1215 JaneStarr@centurytel.net

Glacier Woodworking


Ozegovich Plastering Inc.


Viking Faux Finishes



Bear Dance in Bigfork


Bear Dance in Bigfork

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