Ballet Beyond Borders Challenge coming up

2018 Ballet Beyond Borders performerNow celebrating its 20th year, the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre (RMBT) recently announced a host of global dance stars headlining the upcoming Ballet Beyond Borders Grand Prix Dance Challenge, to be held the week of January 9-13, 2018. This year dancers from Brazil, Mexico, Kazahkstan, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Romania, Korea, Panama, Italy, China, the U.K. and from across the United States will meet in Missoula, Montana for the Ballet Beyond Borders challenge.


Among the highly anticipated performers is Patricia Kelly, the wife of deceased dance legend Gene Kelly. Patricia’s performance will showcase Gene’s genius as an American innovator, director, choreographer, dancer and diplomat. She will kick off the week of events at 7 p.m. on January 9 at the Wilma. Tickets are available at The Top Hat, online or by phone at (877) 987-6487.


Another global star joining Ballet Beyond Borders is Merritt Moore, who recently earned a PhD in quantum physics from Oxford and is also a professional ballerina who has danced with The English National Ballet, Boston Ballet and The Zurich Ballet. In 2010, Moore was named to Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women. Constantly told she could not pursue both of her passions in physics and ballet – Moore is an inspiration to young women in both fields.


“Ballet Beyond Borders builds upon the past two years of success with the Vienna International Ballet Experience and takes it one step further. Attracting visitors of all races, cultures, social and economic backgrounds is our strongest form of public diplomacy,” said RMBT Artistic Director and Ballet Beyond Borders President Charlene Campbell Carey. “Bringing the world to Missoula for five days of world-class dance competition and diplomatic exchanges is the heart of our mission and we are thrilled to be sharing this with the community.”


Additional must-see stars include: Baktiyar Adamzhan, an award-winning principal dancer at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre “Astana Opera” in Kazakhstan who won the highest award of the international choreographic competition in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2017 and was also the Grand Prix winner at the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition in New York earlier this year; Julia Duarte, a 14-year-old rising star from Sao Paolo, Brazil who will be competing in every category; and Celine Armellin and Emiliano Candiago of Venice, Italy, who recently won first place in contemporary duet at the Opus Ballet competition in Florence.


Ballet Beyond Borders will also include practical discussions on the role of dance in building constructive global relations at The Art of Diplomacy Conference, hosted by the Mike and Maureen Mansfield Center.


For more information, visit


Photo: Baktiyar Adamzhan of Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of RMBT.