Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre

You can watch some of RMBT’s performances in Salzburg on YouTube:

Notes from a Salzburg Diary: Salzburg, Austria July 31st 2014

It’s a rainy morning in the alpine city and although the fortress and mountains are obscured there is no way of hiding the eagerness, enthusiasm and pride emanating from the members of Missoula’s Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre. The dancers under the leadership of Charlene Campbell Carey have been in residency in Europe since June when a series of workshops on the island of Ischia culminated in a grand gala performance in the main square of the city of Forio that also featured the brilliant french violinist Henry Gronnier performing with RMBT dancer Ashely Hagler in the Meditation from ” Thais” . Katy Clay performed the RMBT greatest hit ” The Wild Montana Turkey ” and the evening also featured choreography from Vittorio Luciano from Lewistown , Montana that his brother Patric Palkens performed.  Charlene had already taught a lengthy series of master classes and set her choreography in Paris, Saint Quentin, Oslo , Krakow, Vienna and Rome before her Montana company joined her in Rome. 
In July the group moved into the facilities of the Salzburg International Ballet Academy and since then has been engaged in a program of intense rehearsals and performing on July 19 Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre officially opened the famed Salzburg Festspiele with an all ” Montana ” program . This festival was founded by the legendary director Max Reinhardt in the early part of the 20th century and has since emerged as one of the world’s most treasured artistic endeavors. It is thrilling to watch the reactions of MIssoula’s young dancers when they are watching a dress rehearsal of the Vienna philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim and featuring tenor Placido Domingo, or attending performances by bass Thomas Hampson, soprano Anna Prohaska, Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, pianist Rudolf Buchbinder or conductors Carlo Muti, Maria Jansons and Simon Rattle. Thrilling to watch their young lives change.
Two of our dancers traveled last week to Vienna to enter the international competition for ballet and contemporary dance with the Impulstanz Festival and the Vienna Staadsopera Ballet . Ashley Hagler and Patric Palkens competed against professional and pre-professional dancers from around the world and they won. Ms. Hagler won the contemporary dance category with her solo titled ” Cliff Notes” and she joined Mr. Palkens to win third place in classical ballet professional Pas de deux performing the Black Swan from Act 3 Swan Lake.  More importantly, Russia’s Vladimir Malakhov who was president of the jury, awarded them in the highest ranking in all the categories in which they were judged. 12 out of 12 points . A majority of the honors were won by Russia, China , Slovenia, Hungary , Japan and Montana. Incidentally, both Ashley and Patric have signed professional contracts for next year with the Salzburg ballet company.
Coming up for the rest of the company will be a series of Gala concerts in Salzburg and Munich under the leadership of Peter Breuer in his 10th anniversary and production of ” Swan Lake” . Peter is a director with an international reputation (Missoula’s Callie Street has landed a leading solo in his production of Ravel’s Bolero). Then home to Missoula. All in all and unbelievable summer of dancing, learning and living. Ask us about it when we get home.
Donald Carey


Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre