Charlene Campbell Carey’s long and vibrant career in ballet and choreography began in 1976 and branched into entertainment and diplomacy. Born in Chicago she began her ballet studies with Walter Camryn, Bentley Stone and her mother, Elisabeth Gillette Campbell. Ms. Campbell Carey trained on scholarship throughout high school at the National Academy of Arts with Lupe Serrano and Michael Maule. This led her to American Ballet Theatre where she also became a member of the faculty and assistant to Director Patricia Wilde. Ms. Campbell danced at Radio City Music Hall following in her Mother’s footsteps, who danced at Radio City for thirteen years after World War 2. Charlene became choreographer for Chicago’s “Light Opera Works” and served on the faculty for Lou Conte and the Hubbard Street Dance Company for 7 years.
Ms. Campbell was a leading dancer or choreographer for hundreds of ballets, operas, night club acts, and industrials, including the Macy’s Parade Coleco floats, the Los Angeles Japan-America conference with Ronald Reagan, Beverly Hills events such as the Christmas Show with Whoopi Goldberg, “Murder, She Wrote” starring Angela Lansbury, “Indestructible People,” for ABC-TV; and “On My Toes,” with Katya Artyushkina from the Bolshoi Ballet. Ms. Campbell choreographed the film “Desire” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988 and showcased many of the world’s top ballet dancers. She made her on screen acting debut in “Desire” co-starring with Johan Renvall, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. She also produced the feature film “Season of Change” starring Michael Madsen, and served on the faculty of Yvonne Mounsey’s Westside Ballet School, Stanley Holden’s Ballet School and coached celebrities in Los Angeles for ten years.
In 1998, Ms. Campbell founded Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre in Missoula, Montana. RMBT has over 50 original ballets in its repertoire and began touring internationally in 2002. RMBT dancers were cast in “The Flying Dutchman” starring Rod Steiger and Eric Roberts shot in Darby, MT and also in“Kismet” and “Candide” productions with Light Opera Works in Chicago. She has continued to teach and choreograph commissions across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.
In 2008, prior to the Olympic Games, Ms. Campbell led the RMBT delegation to Beijing, Guilin, Yangshou, Shanghai, and Suzhou China. The tour was a diplomatic and artistic success leading to an immediate invitation to return to China October 2008 to participate in the Beijing Dance Academy International Ballet Competition as a master teacher and coach.
RMBT began a tradition of offering command performances in Montana for former Senator Max Baucus, visiting Ambassadors and diplomats from China, Peru, Vietnam, Colombia, Morocco, Panama, Chile, South Korea, Australia, Tajikistan, the Russian Federation, Japan, New Zealand, Bahrain and many more. RMBT established an Affiliation with the University of Montana International Programs, The Mansfield Center and the Center for Southwest Asia Studies. Ms. Campbell has continued to create ballets with topics relevant to Montana, including the " Going Viral " series that included film backdrops and scientists from the Level 4 Lab in Hamilton, Montana to showcase and inform the community about the facts of Ebola, Polio, HPV, Dengue Fever , West Nile , and Influenza. The Gates Foundation utilized the Polio Ballet as an educational tool internationally.
In 2010, the Montana program returned to China, and the Guangxi Province cities of Liuzhou and Nanning to further understanding through cultural exchange and to create new relationships between Montana and China. RMBT was showcased as the headline entertainment during the Shanghai World Expo. RMBT participated in dialogues and cultural exchanges with the Suzhou Ballet, the Robert Mundell University for Entrepreneurship and again at The National Ballet of China and Beijing Dance Academy.
RMBT has toured Europe numerous times and was invited to participate in an official Trade Mission with Senator Max Baucus to both Brazil and Colombia in 2011. RMBT was thrilled to represent the USA & Montana in Gala performances and opening ceremony events for the prestigious Salzburg Music Festival & in collaboration with the Salzburg Ballet in Austria. RMBT enjoyed a three-month European tour in 2014. Major highlights included a residency in Ischia, Italy with Master Violinist Henry Gronnier & participating in the Wien Welt Wettbewerb during the Impulstanz Festival with Gregor Hatala, Evelyn Teri and under Vladimir Malakov’s Direction. This success led RMBT to our current partnership with The Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE) International, and to become VIBE’s USA Director and official host.
In 2014, RMBT embarked to China on an official USA State Department tour of the Henan and Guangxi Provinces. RMBT was presented in Beijing by the National Ballet of China at the Tianquio Theater and participated in cultural exchanges throughout the three week tour including a memorable day with the Chinese Disabled Performance Troupe as facilitated by USA Ambassador to China Max Baucus and accompanied by his wife Melodee Hanes Baucus.
Charlene was Guest Ballet Mistress at the GOH Academy of Ballet in Vancouver, Canada in 2015 under the Direction of Prima Ballerina Chan Han Goh. Most recently Ms. Campbell has served on many prestigious International Ballet juries including Vienna VIBE, 2016, OPUS Ballet Florence, Italy and served as a judge on numerous International Ballet "examen" panels. RMBT is in the planning stages of a diplomatic tour to Cuba. RMBT is also building long term collaborations with Annarella Sanchez School in Portugal and in development of a feature length ballet film titled "Rain Balls."