The Capitol Tree from the Kootenai National Forest
The Kootenai National Forest was selected this year to provide the Capitol tree, this is the second time the Kootenai Forest has provided the Capitol Christmas tree, and the 3rd time for the State of Montana. The tree selected for this year is a 79’ foot Engelmann Spruce and will be cut on November 8, 2017. Along with this large tree, the State of Montana and US Forest Service provides 70 companion trees that will be placed in various offices in Washington DC. Ornaments and tree skirts are also provided for each tree, and all of these have to graciously made and donated by several Montana residents, civic organizations and schools. This is quite an honor for the Kootenai National Forest and State of Montana to be chosen to adorn the Capitol West lawn with this Christmas Tree, and in celebration, the route to Washington DC includes several towns within the State to help us celebrate. The Kootenai National Forest, in partnership with Choose Outdoors is proud to bring this special gem from Montana to Washington D.D. for the 2017 Holiday season. The cost of sending the tree to Washington DC is covered primarily through partnerships. In the past, sponsors have provided transportation, gas and marketing products among other things to help raise money for events.
Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre was chosen to accompany the Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington DC this December, 2017!
Missoula, MT(6/29/2017) Every year, a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season. This year, a tree from the Kootenai National Forest in Montana has been chosen, and Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre (RMBT) has been selected to celebrate the journey through Montana and in DC. This invitation comes from the National Forest Service in partnership with the non-profit Choose Outdoors.
The tree will be cut in November and prepared for the 2,000-mile expedition, which includes a series of community celebrations that RMBT will perform at and culminates with the official tree lighting in early December. RMBT will bring a Montana program to Washington DC performing for the tree lighting ceremony on the Capitol Lawn, the Congressional reception, the Forest Service Chief’s reception and sponsor and partner recognition events.
The Montana program includes an Intertribal Pow Wow, the Montana Stampede-- a kickline of cowgirls, the Timberline tap number and the Wild Montana Turkey hip hop ballerina--who has flown around the globe representing Montana since 2008. We will present poetry from Montana children set to contemporary dance, our Montana state song, a contemporary pas de deux and a very special ballet created for the Capitol Tree celebration “The Montana Engelmann Spruce.”
Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre is honored to share our heritage the passion we have for the American West and specifically Montana this holiday season in Washington DC.
From Charlene Campbell Carey, Artistic Director,
We will celebrate RMBT’s 20th year in Missoula in 2018. This series of events honoring nature reflects our deepconnection to this place and what it represents. Our ballets and cultural footprints express Montana’s open spaces, open minds, open dialogues. We are, through dance, pioneers in interpretation of life and landscape in the American West.”
We are grateful for this opportunity to tell the story of the Kootenai National Forest, the great state of Montana and the tree's journey to the US Capitol in 2017. We are very happy to accept the invitation and are looking forward to all aspects of this collaboration.
RMBT is selling commemorative pins and christmas tree ornaments honoring the Big Sky Tree as a fundraiser to help with costs related to travel, costumes and preparation for the performances. Pins and ornaments are $10 and can be puchased at RMBT.
From the US Forest Service:
The Kootenai National Forest was selected this year to provide the Capitol tree, this is the second time the Kootenai Forest has provided the Capitol Christmas tree, and the 3rd time for the State of Montana. The tree selected for this year is a 79’ foot Engelmann Spruce and will be cut on November 8, 2017. Along with this large tree, the State of Montana and US Forest Service provides 70 companion trees that will be placed in various offices in Washington DC. Ornaments and tree skirts are also provided for each tree, and all of these have to graciously made and donated by several Montana residents, civic organizations and schools.
This is quite an honor for the Kootenai National Forest and State of Montana to be chosen to adorn the Capitol West lawn with this Christmas Tree, and in celebration, the route to Washington DC includes several towns within the State to help us celebrate.
RMBT current schedule for Washington DC:
December 4 - Performance at the Chinese Embassy for Ambassador Cui Tiankai and guests.
VIBE USA 2016 & 2017
In January of 2016 Missoula became the first USA city to host VIBE—which included a dance challenge, film festival and diplomacy conference. RMBT produced and organized all aspects of VIBE USA: fundraising, recruiting outstanding dancers from an elite global pool, inviting the prestigious jury, securing all venues, organizing all master classes, films, special events and lecture series. RMBT collaborated closely with the Mansfield Center on campus of the University of Montana and in harmony with Dr. Abraham Kim with the Diplomacy conferences. VIBE attracted over 6,000 participants, speakers, diplomats and audience members. RMBT hosted the successful encore of VIBE USA in Missoula, Montana again in January 2017. Dancers from Romania, Italy, South Africa, Cuba, Mexico, Portugal, France, Brazil, China and Austria met in an Olympic spirit of sharing art and creating mutual understanding. The topic of the week was the role of the arts in global human communication. Misdirect - Choreography by Aidan Carberry. Comissioned for Suicide Prevention Week & sponsored by IHH, Institute for Health and Humanities & Jan VanRiper, JD, PhD executive director.
Performing at the Missoula Art Museum.
“Going Viral” is a series of collaborative works between Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre Director & Choreographer Charlene Campbell and Concept and Images created by Barbara Michelman inspired by an extraordinary world viewed through the electron microscope. Using dance and projected virus images “Going Viral” tells the tale of many deceptively beautiful and deadly viruses including Polio, Ebola, Influenza and Dengue Fever.
The capacity to extend our vision through the microscope’s lens has expanded our understanding of the world of viruses. Although the structure of viruses is basically the same, they can look, behave, and impact humans and animals very differently. These differing features can be translated into different “personalities” that can be expressed artistically. The visual and dance components of "going Viral" give audiences the chance to experience the virus on a unique level.
Purpose and Overview:
Providing audiences with a quality artistic experience along with an understanding of good health cannot be undervalued; it enables people to live life to its fullest, alloing people and communities to prosper. Our performance will associate positive emotions with knowledge and science. "Going Viral" addresses the social issue of the spread of viruses and the search for and use of vaccination to halt contagion which engages audiences in discussion on public health and vaccine awareness.
World Premieres in Montana:
On October 12, 2012 Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre presented a community outreach “sneak peek” of “Going Viral” at the Ravalli County Museum.
On November 9th, 2012 Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre staged the world premiere of “Going Viral” in Hamilton to a very enthusiastic crowd of scientists, students and the general public.
On November 24th2012 Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre staged “Going Viral” in Missoula. The show was a resounding triumph. The lobby had representation, literature and discussions stimulated by the audiences response to the ballet and with support from Walgreens, Blue Mountain Clinic, the Health Department and GSK Vaccines.
On December 31st 2012, highlights from “Going Viral” was performed for the community event “First Night Missoula.”
April 23th 2013, "Going Viral" was performed for 700 school children in the Bitterroot Valley. The 2013 "Going Viral" program included 'West Nile Virus,' and 'Corona Virus' in addition to Influenza, Dengue Fever, Polio and Ebola. May 24th this expanded "Going Viral" was presented for Missoula school children and a community performance.
October 2013, Polio was performed for the Missoula Rotary Fundraiser, raising over $5,000.