Northfield, IL | July 30, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today releases its 2019-2020 Season Overview, a statistical examination of choreographer gender within the seasons of the Top 50 U.S. companies. This year’s report indicates a significant increase in programming equity from last year, but men remain favored in almost every category. The below chart compares DDP’s key findings from our examinations of data from the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons.
DDP also examined gender among choreographers of world premieres by the Top 50. This year, world premieres of newly-commissioned programming demonstrate one of the most equitable distributions in DDP’s analysis of the industry to date. The chart below compares total world premieres as well as subcategories based on length and placement of programming between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons.
“The entire DDP team is inspired by the rising number of commissioned women’s works,” said Liza Yntema, DDP Founder and President. “Yet, inequity is still present in some of the most notable categories of performance. Works choreographed by men continue to overwhelmingly populate the main stage, while women’s works are often relegated to special programs and sandwiched into male-dominated mixed bills.” She continued, “We are also worried that much of the progress will be undone by company leadership reverting to hiring more men as the ‘safe choice’ in uncertain economic times. That would be a disastrous decision, since bringing in new audiences will be critical to the survival of the industry moving forward.”
DDP’s research team reached out directly to each company to verify season programming, a massive undertaking that was critical to the improvement of season estimates. Of the 50 companies, 28 responded to DDP with confirmation of programming or greater detail regarding their seasons. “The accuracy of our research in this report is undoubtedly improved thanks to the cooperation and transparency of these companies,” explained Director of Research Isabelle Vail. “Since DDP released our First Look report last summer, over 250 works were added to the database for the 2019-2020 season. There is tremendous power in numbers, as we’ve learned since we published our first report in February 2019, and our team is very pleased to include comprehensive data for a greater proportion of these companies in 2020.”
DDP’s 2019-2020 Season Overview can be accessed below along with resources regarding equity in ballet, the gender pay gap, and a section containing COVID-19 relief information. DDP continues its in-depth research of the ballet industry with the upcoming First Look report, an analysis of what is to come in the shifting performance landscape of the 2020-2021 season. DDP’s online interview series Global Conversations – Navigating Challenging Times is available on Instagram TV, YouTube, and DDP’s website, giving special insight from the ballet industry’s top professionals on leading through times of crisis.