World class guest artists Sayaka Ohtaki, and Kuei-Hsien Chu, are bound for great things! Even as they dazzle audiences as Olympic Ballet Theatre’s principal dancers in The Nutcracker this December, they will be preparing for the 2010 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.
The International Ballet Competition has been called, “The most important competition in North America,” by the New York Times. But Chu is no stranger to competition, having participated in four ballet competitions over the last few years, including winning the Bronze Medal in 2008 at the World Ballet Competition in Orlando. Sayaka Ohtaki, also a competitor, was awarded 5th Prize in the Grandship Classical Ballet Competition in 2007.
It’s a life of travel for the 23 year old dancers who are currently living in New York City. Chu, a Taiwan native, has traveled around the world and performed with the Zürich Ballet, English National Ballet, Koahsiung City Ballet and Peridance Ensemble. Ohtaki, born in Tokyo, Japan, relocated to New York City in 2008 where she began working with international master teacher, David Howard, at Steps on Broadway, as well as with Peridance Centre and Ballet Arts.
For those of you who aren’t able to make the trip to Jackson, Mississippi for The International Ballet Competition-- take heart! World class talent will be at your doorstep this winter. Olympic Ballet Theatre is flying the dancers in from New York to perform The Nutcracker in Edmonds, Everett and Arlington theatres-- a rare treat!
Every year artistic director, Helen Wilkins, brings exceptional guest artists to perform with the ballet company. Not only does the audience benefit from the exposure to world class artists, but aspiring dancers perform and rehearse, side by side, with these special artists.
Chu is eager to make a big splash in the Northwest, “We are very excited to show off our best qualities! The Nutcracker is a beautiful story that brings you to your childhood dream and surrounds you with many different styles of dancing, and with a fantastic composer--Tchaikovsky.”
Performances featuring Ohtaki and Chu, will take place at the Edmonds Center for the Arts on December 5th at 2:00 and 7:00 PM and December 6th at 3:00 PM. OBT then travels to the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington for December 13th at 2:00 PM. Performances close at the Everett Performing Arts Center at 2:00 PM on December 19th and 20th with a possible additional performance at 7:00 PM on December 19th.
Tickets for performances of The Nutcracker are on sale now. For more information on quality performances at affordable prices call Olympic Ballet at 425-774-7570, or Ticketmaster at 206-292-ARTS or visit www.Ticketmaster.com. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to experience ballet at its finest as world class artists Sayaka Ohtaki and Kuei-Hsien Chu, perform with Olympic Ballet Theatre this holiday season!