Facebook110Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Ballet NorthwestBallet Northwest (BNW) will present Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet The Sleeping Beauty this Mother’s Day weekend at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.The Sleeping Beauty plays May 12 – 14 at The Washington Center. Photo courtesy: Ballet NorthwestTchaikovsky’s beloved ballet is the most popular spring production in Ballet Northwest’s repertory, and features a cursed princess, faeries, the royal court, and a prince who awakens a sleeping kingdom. The ballet concludes with Princess Aurora’s wedding with special guests Red Riding Hood, Puss N’ Boots, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Snow White and the seven dwarfs.Ballet Northwest’s production includes professional sets, lavish costumes, and 75 local dancers (from Thurston, Lewis, Mason, and Pierce counties.)“We’re excited this year to have such a strong cast of local dancers bringing this beautiful ballet to life. Some of our advanced dancers have recently attended summer programs at prestigious schools such as American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre,” said Josie Johnson, BNW’s co-artistic director.Ballet Northwest continues its rich tradition of outreach into the community with its Dance Access Initiative in conjunction with The Sleeping Beauty.Anna Thornton and Anthony Gamroth will delight audience members of all ages. Photo courtesy: Ballet NorthwestCo-Artistic Director Ken Johnson explained, “We’re thrilled to be busing 1,800 school children (at no charge to the schools) to free student matinees at the Washington Center. For most kids, this will be their first exposure to ballet. This year we will have two packed student matinees featuring an abbreviated version of the show followed by a question and answer session.”Ballet Northwest presents The Sleeping Beauty with the support of Nisqually Indian Tribe, Dr. Andrew Kapust, Olympia Federal Savings, and 94.5 Roxy.Ballet Northwest will present The Sleeping Beauty at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia May 12 through 14, Mother’s Day Weekend 2017. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $14 to $33, with discounts available to students, seniors, and youth. Student Rush tickets are available one hour before curtain. Tickets are available through the Washington Center Box Office at 512 Washington Street SE in Olympia or by calling 360-753-8566. Visit the Ballet Northwest website for more information or buy tickets online at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts website.Josie Johnson, Co-Artistic DirectorPhoto courtesy: Ballet NorthwestJosie and her husband Ken are the Directors of Johansen Olympia Dance Center. She trained at Orange County Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, where she received a B.F.A. in Dance Pedagogy. Josie danced professionally with Dance Connecticut/Hartford Ballet, Connecticut Opera, Roxey Ballet, and ARC Dance Productions. Guest credits include Eliot Feld’s Mr. XYZ with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Kirk Peterson’s The Nutcracker with the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. Josie has taught and choreographed extensively throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington.Ken Johnson, Co-Artistic DirectorJune Jeng (pictured) is one of the many talented seniors in this year’s production. Photo courtesy: Ballet NorthwestKen and his wife Josie are the Directors of Johansen Olympia Dance Center. He trained at Johansen School of Ballet, Evergreen City Ballet, and the School of Hartford Ballet. He attended summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet on scholarship. Ken danced professionally with Hartford Ballet, Dance Connecticut, and Connecticut Opera, as well as at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Ken received a bachelor’s from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Ken has worked at American Repertory Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Connecticut, ACT Theatre, and Tacoma Art Museum.Since 1970, Ballet Northwest has been a community-based group dedicated to promoting, teaching, and preserving the art of dance in Southwestern Washington. The company offers educational opportunities for local dancers as well as outreach throughout the community.