MISSOULA — The holiday season will have an international flavor for more than a dozen Missoula dancers who are going to represent the United States on a world stage at the World Expo in Dubai.
Fifteen dancers were recently rehearsing at the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre in Missoula ahead of their epic trip to Dubai next week. Although many have already traveled internationally with Ballet Beyond Borders -- this trip is something special.
“I can’t think about what it’s going to be like. I cannot even imagine it,” said dancer Dimitri Govertsen-Donaldson. “It’s just like so big to everything else I’ve ever done. That’s how it feels for me.”
Their diverse performances express everything from life in Montana to social justice issues as a way to communicate and connect with strangers across the world through the ebb and flow of dance.
“So instead of just doing the usual classical ballet, they’re participating in dance pieces and works of art and conversations that I think are the most important thing -- the dialog that’s happening. And it’s the dancing and the art and the music that’s providing the healing globally.” - Rocky Mountain Ballet Artistic Director Charlene Campbell Carey
While they dance, the stage will feature big screen video scenes of Montana life including powwows, ranching, rodeos and wildlife. One dance represents the Salmon Fly where the dancers use their art to reach out across the continents and find common ground.
“Especially for students and dancers around the world to experience other people expressing themselves and their lifestyles and their art forms and be able to connect,” noted the dancer and singer who goes by the name KaspertheSaint.
“I think it's important to afford growth to create more art and that. You have had experiences with other people,” Campbell Carey told MTN News.
While there, the dancers will experience what life is like halfway around the world; a place where the sand and desert landscape is so different from ours, but where the universal language of dance keeps us all in step.
“And it really is our job to find shared values as we travel around the world, what do we have in common and we can build from that,” Campbell Carey concluded.