Maria Sascha Khan

Maria Sascha Khan, now a top-flight dancer in Russia, grew up in Pray. She’ll return to her home state as a judge for the VIBE competitions in Missoula next week.

Provided photo

The Vienna International Ballet Experience is returning to Missoula next week after a successful first year in 2016, the first time it decided to bring its events to the U.S.

This year, spectators are welcome to watch dancers compete in a variety of categories from Tuesday through Friday in the Dennison Theatre on the University of Montana campus. Attendees should note that the dancers will have two to three minutes per performance, and the judges will be presenting scores after each performance. The dance challenges run from 9 until 5 p.m. minimum, and spectators are welcome to drop in at any time but are asked to be respectful.

The organizers, including local partner the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, have teamed with a variety of local groups for film screenings, book readings and signings, and a two-day symposium on campus with the Mansfield Center.

The week culminates with the Gala at the Wilma on Saturday, Jan. 14. It's advised to buy tickets in advance.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The schedule is subject to change, so be sure to check the schedule at

Tuesday, Jan. 10

9 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Dance Challenge, open and contemporary categories, Dennison Theater, UM campus

11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Maria Sascha Khan, “If these Tutus Could Talk,” Masquer Theater, UM campus

12 p.m.-1 p.m.: Arts & Above: The benefits of Gyrotonic movement, followed by a performance, Masquer Theater

Opening block party for VIBE USA (Where is this?)

5:30 p.m.: Manik Harum Gamelan Performance;

6 p.m.: Missoula Youth Symphony Performance

6:30 p.m.: Writing Collaborative improv exercises with VIBE USA dancers

7-8 p.m.: Hip hop/break dance class for the community with hip-hop artist “Kasper” and Alina Ciceo and Radu Florin from Romania, Governor’s Room of the Florence Hotel

Maria Sascha Kahn, book signing of her coffee table book “Ballerina," lobby of the Florence Hotel

5:30 p.m.: Author Laurie Horowitz discussion with Montana authors, Fact & Fiction

5-8 p.m.: Square dance, Top Hat

Wednesday, Jan. 11

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Dance Challenge, junior 1 ballet, children ballet and classical groups, Dennison Theater

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: “The Healthy Dancer” Series, Masquer Theater

1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Cultural exchange with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes: Dance, beading and discussion, Masquer Theater

7 p.m.: “Capturing Grace” film along with 40 North Film Festival curated showing, The Silver (formerly the World Theater on South Higgins Avenue.

Thursday, Jan. 12

9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.: Dance Challenge: classical junior 2, senior, and pas de deux, Dennison Theater

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Panel discussion: The fine art of Malvina Hoffman and the story of how Radio City Music Hall shaped our nation’s culture, Masquer Theater

6:30 p.m.: “Take Your Place” documentary project on dance

7 p.m.: HIV, Health and Dance panel discussion

8 p.m.: “Strike a Pose” Montana premiere, Roxy Theater

5:15-9:30 p.m.: Ticketed event: The Art of Diplomacy, Mike and Maureen Mansfield Center, UC Ballroom. For tickets, go to

Friday, Jan. 13

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Dance Challenge finals all categories, Dennison Theater

1:30-1 p.m.: Chinese cultural performance and lecture, Masquer Theater

5:30 p.m.: Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre in China documentary

7 p.m.: Panel discussion for “Jumping Frames”

8 p:m: “Jumping Frames” USA premiere, a curated film series from Hong Kong.

Roxy Theater

6-8:30 p.m.: The Art of Diplomacy – Various artists perform and share their stories, UC Ballroom

Saturday, Jan. 14

1-2 p.m.: Dance for Parkinson’s workshop

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Circle of Chairs: Dance and Movement workshop

Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre School 2704 Brooks

To register:

6 p.m.: VIBE USA 2017 Gala finale, the Wilma Theatre. For tickets:

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.