The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre announced this week that it will travel to China and Russia to perform in several cities.

Artistic Director Charlene Campbell Carey said the trip is part of an ongoing cultural exchange.

“We’re leaving for China on September 5th,” Campbell Carey began. “We’re going to see them in their habitat which is in Xian at the beginning of the Silk Road. We’ve never even been close to that region in China, it’s been primarily Beijing and Shanghai and many other smaller cities.”

From the organization’s press release:

‘RMBT’s Montana themed ballets offer the flavor of Montana. No RMBT cultural exchange would be complete without the participation of the Native Americans. Four championship dancers from the Salish-Kootenai and Blackfeet tribes will be participating. After the Silk Road Arts Festival, the group travels to Beijing to take their unique program to Chongqing’s Southwest University of Politics and Law and Beijing Normal University. These performances are sponsored in part by the Confucius Institute at the University of Montana under the direction of Suhan Chen.’

RMBT has received a U.S. State Department grant to participate in the first Alfia Avzalova Festival in Kazan, Russia. RMBT was the only US arts group to be invited to perform at the festival. In addition to Montana themed ballets and championship Native American dancers, this diplomatic, cultural tour will include renowned singer Suzanne Carey, a native Montana who now stings professionally in Vienna, Austria.’

Following that extensive road trip, the group returns to its home base in Missoula to present the 2019 ‘Ballet Beyond Borders’.

“Save the dates, January 9 through 12,” she said. “We already have dancers coming from Israel and Indonesia, along with a group from Brazil this year. I know that anyone who’s ever attended, it’s not just a fun event, they really do get some very warm and fuzzy feelings of being a proud Montanan and forging these new friendships with people from around the world.”

Most of the judging and performances will be at the Dennison Theater on the UM Campus and are free to the public, with the only exception being the finale gala.