What do Peter Boal and the youth of Seattle know that most people don’t? What June 18th at 7PM will look like! On May 4th we had our first very successful TEEN NIGHT at PNB’s studios hosted by Peter Boal, and thanks to everyone who showed up and the choreographers, we have people out there in the city that can’t wait for this exciting evening of innovation we call NEXT STEP. It was a great time, and such a big motivator for the choreographers to show excerpts and let people have a sneak peek.

As we get closer to the performance, the anxiousness builds. Right now, everybody is concentrated on finishing their new works, while trying to rehearse for the premiere of Giselle and get as much rehearsal time as possible. Time is so precious that the dancers (PNB Company dancers as well as Professional Division students) are starting to stay late to get their work done and make sure that what you will see in five weeks will not disappoint. We have many pieces and parts to put together in the next few weeks. Don’t forget, the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra is playing two out of the eight pieces that will be shown, so they are very hard at work as well. Costumes are being planned, and lighting ideas are swirling around in the choreographers’ heads, but not as much as their need to get finished!

Professional Division students Jahna Frantziskonis and Andy Garcia perform at Teen Night. Photo by Rex Tranter.

As a person who has seen the NEXT STEP performances evolve over the years, one of the greatest things I get to see is how a choreographer evolves and progresses in their ability to communicate an idea or vision to music. One person in particular for this year’s performance comes to mind, as he will not only be giving his last performance as a company dancer, but as a choreographer, is Barry Kerollis. Barry as a choreographer always has started with an initial message, and it is always deeply personal without bringing only his side of any story. To see Barry’s development over the years is a testament not only to him, but to the process and value that NEXT STEP has to offer. I certainly hope that he continues to explore his voice as a choreographer, and we wish him nothing but the best.

PNB corps de ballet dancer and choreographer Barry Kerollis speaks about his new piece at Teen Night. Photo by Rex Tranter.

Stay tuned as we get even closer and eventually move into McCaw Hall, and be sure to get your tickets now to see your favorite dancers’ ideas come to life while seeing the professional dancers of tomorrow now!

Nicholas Ade, NEXT STEP Coordinator
Eastside School Principal, Pacific Northwest Ballet School

Featured photo: An all-teen audience watches NEXT STEP rehearsals inside Studio C with with Artistic Director Peter Boal. Photo by Rex Tranter.