There is a new tradition brewing around Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Phelps Center this time of year, and that is the beginning of the wonderful process of NEXT STEP . This distinctive performance where PNB Company dancers choreograph new works for our most advanced students in PNB School’s Professional Division is set for June 16, 2012. Although it’s four months away, one of the most exciting aspects of NEXT STEP is the creative process, and we would like to invite you to enjoy the ride with us! This blog will be your all-access pass until you see the final product on stage. To start, I thought it best to go to the source of artistic support for this vital opportunity for young artists; that support comes from PNB’s Artistic Director Peter Boal. Here are a couple of answers to questions I asked him about NEXT STEP, as well as his announcement of this year’s six NEXT STEP choreographers:
|Professional Division student Kiara Felder in rehearsal for NEXT STEP.
Photo by PNB School student Nathaniel Solis.
We look at every aspect of how we educate these young pre-professionals. When we started this process of choreographing on the students, you realize that it’s essential and a key part of becoming a professional dancer. Learning how to work with a choreographer, remembering the new material you have been given in the studio the next day, how to collaborate and make vocabulary come to life for an audience on stage. I think it is one of the most important things we offer and teach them. Also, many of the choreographers are not that far removed from being students themselves, so you have a sort of peer bonding that happens.
Rehearsals have really started to get underway, and it’s not only the students and choreographers who are involved. Nathaniel Solis, a PNB School student, will be taking some of our rehearsal photographs, and the brilliant student artists of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra will be joining us again for this treasure we call NEXT STEP . Please follow us on Twitter (#NextStepPNB) and on Facebook in order to keep up to date with the process!