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In the late 70s and early 80s ballet wasnt taken very seriously in Montana. Ann Bates, Artistic Director of Montana Ballet, appealed to state legislators for a portion of the state coal-tax arts money to no avail. She finally persuaded Rep. Francis Bardanouve that it was unfair to ignore dance while supporting other arts. Lawmakers subsequently awarded her a $10,000 grant. She sent the venerable Bardanouve a tutu which he gamely wore on his head.
Today Montana Ballet is the only small dance company in the rural west with big company goals: 1) To educate the youth of the Gallatin Valley in dance at the professional level; 2) To present a season of international dance companies, world-known ballet stars, and local talent of amazingly high caliber; and 3) To offer a variety of outreach opportunities to schools as far as 100 miles away from Bozeman.
Comments about productions reflect astonishment that the Bozeman area could be the home to a ballet company equal to comparable companies in much larger communities.
The motivation for this excellence stems from the pride Montana Ballet staff and Board of Directors take in making art that surprises and delights. Visiting companies for
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