Dancer Tiler Peck makes her choreography debut at the New York City Ballet

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Tiler Peck, principal dancer for the New York City Ballet, choreographed her first ballet there, “Concerto for Two Pianos,” and found it a joyful new way to lead the dancers.

“I have never been so nervous and excited at the same time,” Peck told The Associated Press. “Normally when there’s a performance, you know, I get a little nervous. But mostly, I know I can count on myself, but this is putting it in other dancers’ hands, and I have to just hold and have hope, and just trust in them that they will pull through.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to manage your peers in a new role, but Peck says the transition was easy.

“I have so much joy and respect for them that I think it was… honestly just the best process,” Peck said. “I looked forward to it every single day.”

The most satisfying part was mentoring the dancers and seeing their skills improve.

“What I was hoping for more than anything was to inspire them as dancers and to give them tools that they could use in all of their ballets throughout their career, not just my ballet,” Peck said.

“Whether it be how to shape your foot when you’re running… things that they could carry over that I normally don’t get to say to them because I don’t want to overstep my place,” she said. “But here, I said everything I’ve ever wanted to say to be helpful, and I see it translating into their other work.”

Designer Zac Posen is a friend and a natural fit to design the costumes for Peck’s debut. Posen’s husband, Harrison Ball, was a dancer for New York City Ballet, so he knows the space and how to design for dancers’ movement.

Posen proposed that most of the dancers be in shades of blue and gray, with a pop of red for the lead female dancer.

The idea was to juxtapose “the rich and dark, dark crimson that can change color, and next to kind of a sea of like eight or nine different shades of inky blues, like morning glories at midnight, moving,” he said. “And then the men in these beautiful slate, simple grays, just so you can see their line and form.”

“Concerto for Two Pianos” is playing at the New York City Ballet through Feb. 24.

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