People often ask how works are taught, prepared, and coached when the choreographer is not present. Credit goes to the stagers. For this program Stefan Zeromski staged Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze with help from PNB Rehearsal Directors Otto Neubert and Giovanni Villalobos, respectively. Stefan danced for many years with NDT and worked directly with Kylián. Ana Maria Lucaciu returned to PNB to stage Cacti for the second time with valuable assistance from Anne Dabrowski. Ana Maria was also in Seattle to create an original work for Whim W’Him.
PNB is also a culture of creativity with dancers, musicians, designers, and choreographers working to offer fresh takes on dance. Watch for a season filled with new creations and new ideas. So much of this happens beyond the mainstage. This year, original choreography is offered in the PNB School Performance (James Kirby Rogers), Family Matinee (Terry Marling and Robyn Mineko Williams), and NEXT STEP (Luca Anaya, Melisa Guilliams, Elle Macy/Dylan Wald, Noah Martzall, Amanda Morgan/Christopher D’Ariano, and Lily Wills). And if you catch our November DISCOVER DANCE performance, you’ll see work performed by the student choreographers from our New Voices class.
Ballet is ever evolving. The balance of offering favorite works from the past, and recently created cutting-edge pieces is challenging. Newer works allow the evolution to continue, and familiar works offer just the right lure for bringing audiences back. Identifying environments of innovation, like NYCB, NDT, and PNB, helps us to understand how the past informs both present and future. As you enjoy Cacti, consider the influence of Petite Mort or Sechs Tänze on Ekman’s work. It’s thrilling for all of us to have a front seat to the continuous evolution of dance.
Photo credits: PNB Company dancers in Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, photo © Angela Sterling.
James Yoichi Moore and Rachel Foster in Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Jerome Tisserand and Lesley Rausch in Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, photo © Angela Sterling.