For the 11th year, young choreographers from Olympia’s Ballet Northwest (BNW) will surprise and delight the audience at the Young Choreographers Showcase (YCS) on Saturday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Minnaert Center at South Puget Sound Community College.
Ballet Northwest created YCS in 2012 to allow Company dancers to explore creativity and leadership in dance and create their own choreography. “As our dancers became more and more comfortable with different dance styles they started to show an interest in choreography. We created the Showcase to give these dancers the opportunity to stage their creativity,” said Ken Johnson, Co-Artistic Director at Ballet Northwest.
This year YCS will feature a record 20 short works. The audience will encounter a variety of styles of dance, including ballet, contemporary, tap and jazz. Choreographers get to take advantage of professional lighting and costumes. In addition to current BNW company dancers, several alumni will create works, including Emily Walter, who recently graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance.
To participate in the event, dancers had to apply, indicate the style of music they would use as well as how many dancers they would need to stage their production. The Johnsons and other teachers mentored the students throughout the creative process as well as at rehearsals. “We provide guidance and pop into rehearsals to make sure things are going well and progressing. We’ve discovered that this process is a great leadership opportunity for the students. They have to manage rehearsal times, make sure dancers are available and take charge of their peers,” said Josie Johnson, Co-Artistic Director at Ballet Northwest
Ken Johnson added, “It is exciting to see the amazing quality of work that these local, young choreographers produce. Audiences are continually blown away by the choreographers’ imagination coming to life on the stage.”
Tickets are $18 (plus $4 Washington Center service fee) and can be purchased at: www.washingtoncenter.org or by calling 360-753-8586.