Next Step, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual choreographers’ showcase, returns to the stage — although not the stage PNB fans are used to – for two nights of original danceworks.

This year’s showcase moves to On the Boards in the lower Queen Anne/Uptown neighborhood, for two evenings next week with six premieres by  Pacific Northwest Ballet’s choreographers Malena Ani, Jonathan Batista, Mark Cuddihee, Noah Martzall, James Kirby Rogers and Lily Wills, all set on the Professional Division student dancers of PNB School — the dance stars of tomorrow, on stage today, according to a press release.

Next Step will be presented two nights only, at 7:30 p.m. May 25 and 26 at On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St.

Seating is first come, first served. Doors and box office open at 6:30 p.m., and seating begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 general admission and may be purchased through the PNB Box Office, 206-441-2424, in person at 301 Mercer St. or online at

Subject to availability, tickets are also available one hour prior to show time at On the Boards. There will be no student or senior rush tickets sold for Next Step.

According to a Pacific Northwest Ballet press release, “Next Step provides dancers, studio space and rehearsal time for company members who wish to hone their choreography skills. It was originally conceived by Artistic Director Peter Boal as a means to develop emerging choreographic talent, and as a channel for PNB School Professional Division students — talented young artists one step away from their professional careers — to participate in the creation of a new work.

“This year’s selected choreographers for Next Step are creating with a force and urgency that has never been seen in this program,” program coordinator Eva Stone said in the press release. “The work speaks to how these artists see the world after their world dramatically changed. Both the choreographers and the dancers have responded in a deeply physical and visceral way. And with the intimate setting offered at On the Boards, this will be a show not to be missed!”

All Next Step pieces will be performed both nights. The line-up includes:

pillow scream

Music by Johannes Malfatti and Olivier Alary

Choreography by Malena Ani

The premiere of Malena Ani’s pillow scream is generously sponsored by Dr. Joe G. Norman Jr.



Music by Leandro Albuquerque

Choreography by Jonathan Batista

The premiere of Jonathan Batista’s Encontro is generously sponsored by Frank* and Lynn Lindsay.




Music by Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein and Dave Brubeck

Choreography by Mark Cuddihee

The premiere of Mark Cuddihee’s Gestalt is generously sponsored by Susan Y. Buske.


The Difference Between

Music by Ezio Basso

Choreography by Noah Martzall

The premiere of Noah Martzall’s The Difference Between is generously sponsored by T.R. Ko.



Music by A Winged Victory for the Sullen

Choreography by James Kirby Rogers and Cast

The premiere of James Kirby Rogers’ Quanta is generously sponsored by One Upon a Dance, and PNB’s Young Patrons Circle.


Love What Happened Here

Music by James Blake and Tennyson

Choreography by Lily Wills

The premiere of Lily Wills’ Love What Happened Here is generously sponsored by Jon R. Conte & Margaret Kerrigan.


Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2021-22 season is sponsored by ArtsFund and Microsoft.