CLOSE-UP YOUNG CHOREOGRAPHERS: Peter Walker

Peter Walker began with tap dancing lessons. In 2012 he was engaged as a group dancer with the New York City Ballet. The première of Peter Walker's first piece for the New York City Ballet, ten in seven, was celebrated as part of the NYCB’s Fall Gala 2016. 
In the 2017/18 season he presents a new piece as one of our four Young Choreographers.

Peter Walker © Peter Walker
Peter Walker © Peter Walker

Name: Peter Walker

Beginnings: I actually wasn't all that interested in ballet for a long time, I found Broadway more exciting. Even though I wasn't immediately sure with ballet, I began with choreography as early as 18.  After I had created a couple of times for the School of American Ballet and then for a gala performance, Peter Martins, then Director of the NYCB, rather surprisingly asked me if would like to do a piece for this grand company. I was 22 and shocked in the very best sense of the word. So one thing lead to another.

Style: My style really is very American. Somehow neo-classically casual, athletic and not too sophisticated. The greatest source of inspiration, however, is the music, from which everything actually flows. I always look for the best physical parallels to the music, for a movement or form, which can visualise and embody it. Sometimes this becomes very specific, sometimes we have to go abstract.

Creation: In Munich I create with a cello concerto of the contemporary British composer Oliver Davis, with whom I already collaborated for my last piece. I find it difficult to answer the question as to what theme my creation is concerned with, as it is more about the actual dance and the music. I work very visually, think in forms and create crossovers from one movement to the next, which complete these forms. For me choreography is like solving a mathematical task, for which you need a clear form language.

 

Either or ...

Search or find?   
Find. It just happens.
Act or react?      
React! Without a doubt.              
Listen or shout?              
Both.  

Creation of Peter Walker: Ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsballetts © Wilfried Hösl
Sneak peek of the rehearsals with Peter Walker and the Ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsballetts © Wilfried Hösl

 

Find out more about him in his Biography or in the full interview in the Young Choreographers 2018 programme book.

Interview by Margaux Duteil and Antonia Hostlowsky.

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