Ballet Northwest Photo by Julie Alonso

For the tenth year, young choreographers from Olympia’s Ballet Northwest (BNW) will surprise and delight the audience at the Young Choreographers Showcase (YCS) on Saturday, August 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia. BNW is thrilled to be returning to the theater for a live performance for audiences for the first time since March 2020. Most recently, the company filmed “The Nutcracker” and “The Sleeping Beauty” but audiences were not present for the filmings themselves.

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 showcase fifteen new works.  The audience will encounter a variety of styles of dance, including ballet, contemporary, Irish, tap and jazz. Choreographers get to take advantage of professional lighting and costumes.

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 provided guidance and would pop into rehearsals to make sure things were 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: or by calling 360-753-8586.

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