Justin Peck can dance. Really well. And from him flows a seemingly everlasting font of creativity. He’s also a great guy and a generous collaborator – one of those rarities in New York City who found the formula for being down-to-earth and supremely talented at the same time. Justin is the resident choreographer and soloist for the New York City Ballet. His work with the company includes the acclaimed Everywhere We Go and Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. He also choreographed and consulted for the silver screen – the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller Red Sparrow. This Spring, he’s come to our neck of the woods and created some of his best dance to date. He’s now Tony Award-nominated for his choreography in the hit revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at the Imperial. We are so excited to have Mr. Peck off his (graceful) feet and On the Couch.
What do you consider to be your best asset?
Finding beauty and fascination in the simplest aspects of life.
What was your proudest moment?
I’m going to go with a recent and relevant one- which is opening our musical Carousel with the best team and cast a guy could ask for.
What is your favorite drink?
Nonalcoholic: Arnold Palmer.
What is your favorite food?
I love food, so this is a tough question… I’m going to go with Ramen. NO- chicken parm! wait, no… A deli bacon-egg-&-cheese. Ok, this is tough…
What is your favorite condiment?
Ketchup (but only on a french fry)- it’s the perfect balance of umami.
What is your current obsession?
Donald Glover / Childish Gambino
If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?
Australian Licorice. I’m addicted!
What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
I would love to develop a new/original musical with a strong foundation in dance-as-storytelling.
What is the one thing you waste too much money on?
Amazon Prime- a.k.a. the danger of purchasing pretty much anything with a single click or tap.
What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?
What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?
I love riding my bicycle around New York, but that may also be the greatest threat to my health.
What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
To treat every project or opportunity like it’s my very first, and apply that freshness of energy every single time.
What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
Frugality to an unnecessary extreme.
What in the world most thrills you?
What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
What was the single most embarrassing moment you’ve ever experienced on the job?
Recently I was onstage giving some very heartfelt notes and a fly buzzed into my ear and I totally freaked out in front of the cast. Uproar of laughter ensued!
What is your favorite place in the world?
Its cliché but I am going to have to go with New York City, particularly due to its unparalleled diversity.
What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?
Humor and generosity. That’s two traits, but had to do it!
Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?
Dogs! I grew up with dogs and LOVE them. Sadly, I am allergic to cats…
What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
All my favorite friends and family at a pig roast together on some remote beach with a Cuban band playing music in the background, and DANCING.
What is your personal motto?
Wake up every morning grateful and with a fresh start. Try not to hold onto things from the day prior.