Miles Pertl is from Seattle, Washington. He trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, International Ballet Academy in Kirkland, Washington, and the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, and he attended summer courses at San Francisco Ballet School. Mr. Pertl joined Stuttgart Ballet as an apprentice in 2010 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2011. He next joined Het Nationale Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2012 before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015.
Miles is creating his first work for PNB’s NEXT STEP, a one-night-only performance for PNBS Professional Division students in an all-premiere line up created by PNB Company members. One of the most fun performances all season long, NEXT STEP is your chance to cheer the next generation of dancers and dance-makers.
WHAT CONCEPTS INSPIRED YOU THIS YEAR FOR NEXT STEP?
I am a born-and-raised Seattleite, but after living abroad for eight years, this is my first year back home. The separation from my hometown has given me the opportunity to rediscover Seattle and remember why it is so amazing. As I went into the studio for the first time to start creating my NEXT STEP piece, I realized that this city has affected my dancers as much as it has me. They have come from all around the country to make this city their home. For many of the dancers, this will be one of their last shows in Seattle before taking that the step into professional careers and I wanted to highlight their stories as the base of my piece.
HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF A TITLE FOR YOUR NEXT STEP PIECE?
For me, finding the title of your creation can be one of the most difficult aspects of choreography. Putting a label on the piece and having that be the only accessible preconceived insight that the audience has before they see a whole creation.
The name of my piece is called Present Company. My dancers are group of close friends that have fun together on and off the stage. This piece is a continuation of that dynamic.
IS THERE A PAST/CURRENT CHOREOGRAPHER THAT YOU ADMIRE?
I really love Mats Ek. His simple aesthetic finds a way to tell a smart story, which I find incredibly unique.
Pina Bausch had a tremendous impact on how I view choreography. She had the ability to make the simplest movement have the most impact. She finds a way to pull the genuine beauty out of her dancers. Pina and Mats works are true inspirations.
WHAT ARE YOUR COSTUMES FOR YOUR PIECE?
My costumes are still in flux. I want each of my dancers to bring some of their own flavor to the costumes. So, I have sent them out on a mission: Find socks! Their socks of choice will highlight their individual style and be good flare (I just hope no one gets the Christmas toe socks!).
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Photos: Miles Pertl as Friar Lawrence in Romeo et Juliette. Photo by Angela Sterling; choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot.