One of my favorite annual events is coming in June: NEXT STEP is an extraordinary night of contemporary ballet impresses and inspires. (I cannot tell you how crestfallen I was to miss it last year. Never again!)
Why am I so effusive? NEXT STEP is a showcase of world-premier dance pieces, choreographed by company members of Pacific Northwest Ballet, performed by students of the PNBS Professional Division, in collaboration with Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, who provide live music on the night of the performance under the direction of SYSO Music Director Stephen Rogers Radcliffe. Not only is the program consistently excellent and a delight for the audience, it also:
- provides a vital platform for company dancers to hone their choreographic skills
- gives PNBS students the chance to perform in a fully produced, premier piece
- creates strong bonds between SYSO and PNBS, two of our most prominent young artist institutions
That last bit deserves special attention: Prior to the performance, SYSO and PNBS students will meet in extended workshops to learn more about each other’s disciplines and form personal and professional bonds. These young artists are essential to the future cultural health of the region, and the rewards of this program benefit everyone.
This year, the choreography comes from Chelsea Adomaitis, Kyle Davis, Steven Loch, Charles McCall, Ezra Thomson and Price Suddarth. Thomson and Suddarth choreographed two of my favorite pieces from NEXT STEP 2013, so I’m excited to see what they have created after two more years of practice and process—but really, I’m just excited about the whole thing.
PNB is a Balanchine company, and that’s not always compelling to me. If you feel the same, but you love ballet of all stripes, this is a can’t-miss event. So don’t.
PNB presents NEXT STEP 2015
When: Friday, June 12 at 7:30 PM
Where: McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St)
This is an all ages event. Purchase tickets online.
Come see the school’s dancers perform new works and an original staging of Le Corsaire, A Pirates Tale on June 13.
June 13, 2 PM
PNB School students in Levels I-IV, Levels I-VIII Men, and DanceChance perform in original works by PNB School faculty, followed by an original staging of Le Corsaire, A Pirates Tale by PNB’s own Doug Fullington, featuring selected students from Level III through Professional Division.
June 13, 7 PM
PNB students in Levels V-VIII perform original works by PNB School faculty, and present an encore performance of Le Corsaire, A Pirates Tale, accompanied by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra