Meet the NEXT STEP Artist: Kyle Davis

Kyle Davis (he/him) is from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He trained at Makaroff School of Ballet and on scholarship at Rock School for Dance Education and North Carolina School of the Arts, and attended summer courses on scholarship at Milwaukee Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. He also studied with Ethan Stiefel and Warren Conover. He joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2008 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2009, soloist in 2016, and principal in 2020.

Read on to learn a little more about Kyle and his new work, and see his new choreographic work for NEXT STEP 2023 on Friday, June 16 at 7:30PM at McCaw Hall. Click here for more information and to buy your tickets.

NEXT STEP is PNB’s annual choreographic workshop where Company dancers have the opportunity to create original works for PNB School Professional Division students. NEXT STEP provides opportunity, infrastructure, and support to grow tomorrow’s choreographic talent while providing a performance opportunity to our most advanced students.

Interviewed by Eric Hipolito

What is your piece about? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My piece is largely about being present in the moment. The music is a major inspiration for me.

What is your choreographic process like? Why did you choose to choreograph this year?
My choreographic style begins with a lot of studying and planning – learning the music explicitly. From there I craft nearly all the steps and formations in my head before entering the studio with the dancers. Once in the studio with the dancers I set the imagined sequences and converse with the dancers to find the best way to make my steps possible, often times evolving the initial idea into something different that is individualized for the specific artists who will perform the ballet.

Is your first time choreographing for NEXT STEP or are you a returning choreographer?
This will be my seventh NEXT STEP creation. I created my first piece for NEXT STEP in 2012, and subsequent stage works in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017, as well as a film piece in 2020.

What do you want the audience to leave with after your piece?
I think it is up to each individual audience member to leave with whatever they want from the piece. I have thoughts about what I hope they take away, but I’m keeping them to myself.

What are you going to do with your time off?
The plan for this summer is to drive from Seattle to Philadelphia, stopping in Green Bay to visit my family and seeing many national parks and great small towns along the way.

Who were your role models or inspiration when you were younger?
Growing up, my sister was my biggest inspiration. I always admired her smarts, humor, and creativity, and especially looked up to her for the way she always stood up for others when they needed support.

Define yourself in three words.
I asked my fiancée: intelligent, creative, ambitious.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t be afraid to ask, the worse that can happen is they’ll say no.

Photo credits: Kyle Davis © Angela Sterling. Kyle Davis in rehearsal for NEXT STEP with PNB School Professional Division students, photos © Eric Hipolito.