Meet the 2024 NEXT STEP Artist: Amanda Morgan

In this blog, you’ll learn more about PNB dancer Amanda Morgan, who is choreographing a new work with Christopher D’Ariano for NEXT STEP! NEXT STEP provides opportunity, infrastructure, and support to grow tomorrow’s choreographic talent while providing a unique performance opportunity for PNB School’s Professional Division dancers. This year, Professional Division students will perform original work from company dancers Lily Wills, Noah Martzall, Luca Anaya, Melisa Guilliams, and the co-choreographer teams of Elle Macy/Dylan Wald and Amanda Morgan/Christopher D’Ariano. Learn more about this exciting step in Amanda’s creative journey below.

What themes/concepts are you exploring in your Next Step Piece?

When thinking about creating this new work, the theme of conformity juxtaposed with how we rebel against conformity, led our process to where our piece is now. Additionally, the idea of a memory and what it is like to truly remember a memory is the heart of this piece. Each time we remember a memory it always changes just a bit from the time we remembered it prior.

What is your choreographic process like?

Usually I really like to talk about the concepts and themes with the dancers to have a more active conversation whilst creating a piece. Since NEXT STEP has such limited rehearsal time, most of the talking and brainstorming was done with Christopher, but usually, we would incorporate the dancers’ thoughts and ideas more. I also tend to write down much of the narrative or stories to accompany whatever characters or scenes I’m trying to make. This sometimes is told to dancers, but often is just for me to really understand why I’m trying to tell this story.

What choreographers inspire you?

Crystal Pite has always and will forever inspire me. The first time I choreographed for NEXT STEP, at 21, she mentored us and gave us some advice for creating new work. I’ll never forget those special moments to be able to talk to her; it has really informed who I am as a choreographer today. There are so many more dancemakers that inspire me, but anyone making new work and being innovative is incredibly inspiring!

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I would say most people don’t know that I’m a HUGE movie fanatic!

What’s your approach to choreographing as a duo?

This is my first time really collaborating and choreographing an entire piece with someone. Christopher is one of my best friends, and I’ve been choreographing my own pieces simultaneously while he’s done his. It’s been really wonderful to grow alongside him as a choreographer.

You can see Amanda and Christopher’s piece, Dream City, on Tuesday, June 4 at 7:00PM at On the Boards! Click here for more information and to buy your tickets.

Photo credits: Amanda Morgan, photos © Angela Sterling.