Kali Jimenez of Soledad dances the lead role of Princess Aurora alongside Gideon Brown of King City, who plays Prince Desiree, in “The Sleeping Beauty” ballet this weekend, April 14-16, at the Robert Stanton Theater. (Miguel Serrano)

KING CITY — Monterey County Dance Foundation in partnership with Monterey County Dance Theatre will present “The Sleeping Beauty” ballet this weekend, April 14-16, coinciding with the local dance studio’s 65th anniversary in King City.

“We are so happy to partner once again with the Monterey County Dance Theatre to bring classical dance to life and to reach out to new community partners, such as the Interact Club of King City High School, the King City High School music department and various other volunteers,” said Monterey County Dance Foundation President Teri Storelli. “We are so grateful for the continued support of our donors and the continued support of our community as we make the dream of taking center stage attainable for all classical dancers in southern Monterey County.”

Set in medieval times, “The Sleeping Beauty” ballet follows Princess Aurora, who is cursed to slumber for 100 years by the wicked Carabosse, and only Prince Desiree’s kiss can break the spell. Performed by the student company, the ballet also showcases other familiar fairytale characters.

“The Sleeping Beauty” ballet was adapted from Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairytale, “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood,” and premiered on stage in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1890. The 133-year-old ballet is one of the oldest classical ballets in existence.

“I am proud to bring back this ballet for our community and the student company during the 65th anniversary of Monterey County Dance Theatre here in King City,” said Janette Harkness, artistic director of Monterey County Dance Theatre. “It will amaze you. I am so very proud of the students and actors. Family entertainment of the highest calibre.”

The wicked Carabosse (Daisy Picazo) is pictured, from left, with the Queen and King (Mitzi and Tom Brown) and the Royal Nurse (Lauren Schierer). (Miguel Serrano)

The show’s talented student cast ranges in age from 5 to 18, and will be joined by some outstanding community performers, as well.

Kali Jimenez of Soledad will be dancing the lead role of Princess Aurora, while Chloe Arriaga of Soledad will perform as the Lilac Fairy and Daisy Picazo of Greenfield will play Carabosse. Gideon Brown of King City will take stage as Prince Desiree.

Performances for “The Sleeping Beauty” ballet are Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, April 15 and 16, at 2 p.m., at the Robert Stanton Theater on the King City High School campus. The ticketed show runs an hour-and-a-half long.

“We are celebrating our 65th anniversary birthday in 2023 with this grand ballet,” said Harkness, who recalled how her mother Pauline Hall began teaching dance in their kitchen in the spring of 1958. “I know she will be looking upon us with a huge heart filled of love for what she started.”

On Saturday, there will also be a Renaissance Faire starting at 1 p.m. on the front steps of the Robert Stanton Theater, with games, face painting, character artists, strolling minstrel and more. The ballet will be followed by a Swiss sausage risotto and salad barbecue fundraiser.

“We are raising money for dance scholarships as well as costume needs,” Storelli said.

The Renaissance Fair and barbecue are open to the public, regardless of attending the ballet. Sunday’s performance will also be preceded by an hour-long Renaissance Faire.

Box office opens one hour before curtain. Tickets are available on eventbrite.com or at the door.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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