The NEXT STEP program which is managed by PNB faculty member and choreographer Eva Stone serves two significant purposes – to develop the talents of emerging choreographers from within the company and to give students from PNB School who are on the verge of dancing their way into the professional space an opportunity to have new works created on them.
For 2021, considering the unique circumstances that the pandemic has presented, the performance will be streamed rather than performed life. Stone describes the process:
“Five talented artists were selected for this year’s program with the clear understanding that the traditional live stage performance opportunity would shift to an online format. NEXT STEP artists were asked to create a dance for film. With that in mind, these artists began a journey to explore their knowledge of dance in a vastly new and challenging form. After several sessions that included discussions about creative process, filming, editing, and artistic arc, the choreographers set off to define and build their artistic visions.
Creating art, specifically dance, during these current times can be some of the most difficult and frustrating experiences in a dance artist’s life. This project was extremely challenging due to the constraints of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols, but these incredible choreographers persevered and all five have created some of the best dance films I have seen all year. These films beautifully demonstrate the thriving spirit of dance, the indestructibility of hope and love, and offer windows to our shared humanity. This year’s NEXT STEP is an event not to be missed!”