Getting to Know:
Matthew Renko is from Tampa, Florida. He studied at Columbia Conservatory of Dance, North Carolina School of the Arts with Warren Conover, Kee-Juan Han, and Melissa Hayden, and on scholarship at the School of American Ballet. He became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 2007 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2008. In 2009, he joined the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Mr. Renko joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2011.
Matthew is creating his second work for PNB’s NEXT STEP, a one-night-only performance for PNBS Professional Division students in an all-premiere line up created by PNB Company members. One of the most fun performances all season long, NEXT STEP is your chance to cheer the next generation of dancers and dance-makers.
Q&A ON NEXT STEP
Have you choreographed in the past?
Yes, prior to PNB, I choreographed for the School of American Ballet Student Choreography Workshop and the New York Choreographic Institute.
(Take a look at Matthew’s NEXT STEP post in 2014.)
What motivated you to choreograph this year?
No rhyme or reason, but I thought to myself, why not!
Has the Next Step program encouraged you to choreograph?
When I joined PNB in 2011, I wanted to focus on my dancing. But through my years in the company, NEXT STEP has given me the opportunity to choreograph when I probably wouldn’t otherwise.
What music have you chosen?
Partita for Cello & Piano by Sir. Kenneth Leighton. Leighton is a mid-century British composer and pianist (1929-1988).
Are there past choreographers that you admire?
George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederick Ashton, and Maurice Béjart to name a few.