September 24, 2020 | Northfield, IL | Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announced the creation of the 2020-2021 Season Status Updates resource, an online tool that provides a listing of programming changes for both U.S. and international ballet companies. The resource, which will continue to be updated in real time, details the most recent information regarding company seasons and the specifics of COVID-era programming (e.g., virtual, live, drive-in, etc.).

The Season Status Updates resource includes three sections of data: Top 50 Ballet Company Seasons, 2020 Nutcracker, and International Company Seasons. The third section covers 40 leading companies located across the globe, from Europe to Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. The 2020 Nutcracker section provides information on cancellations and virtual airings of the largest U.S. 50 ballet or ballet adjacent companies’ productions of The Nutcracker. This ballet is a significant revenue-booster and has already been cancelled by a large proportion of these leading domestic companies.

“Each organization in the industry is responding to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic in its own way, so comprehensive information regarding the status of companies, festivals, and other initiatives is not readily available in one place,” explained DDP Director of Research Isabelle Vail. “DDP’s Season Status Updates resource was developed to bring all of the information regarding programming-related COVID updates to one place: a straightforward and navigable spreadsheet.”

The 2020-2021 Season Status Updates resource will be periodically refreshed by DDP staff, pending the release of information regarding companies’ spring seasons—which, for the most part (exceptions outside the U.S.), remain unchanged for the time being – with fall 2020 seasons cancelled, replaced with virtual programming, and/or postponed into the spring or fall of 2021. DDP will also expand the resource to include festivals and venue programming in the coming months.

“Shut down forever, on hiatus, performing outside, at a drive in, or virtual ballet film festival? All on the table – it’s a fascinating and terrifying time in the performing arts world,” said DDP Founder and President Elizabeth “Liza” Yntema.

“DDP has taken note of small, forward-thinking companies, like BalletX, who pivoted early on to hybrid models of virtual and socially-distanced performances,” but Yntema cautioned, “At the same time, we are seeing pre-eminent companies close their doors, then attempt to re-open only to close again. With DDP’s new resource, journalists, academics, and the companies themselves can assess various responses to the challenge of programming a season mid-pandemic and determine which models are successful, interesting, and relevant enough to be replicated in years—or crises— to come.”

DDP will publish the annual First Look report, an examination of the largest 50 U.S. ballet companies’ season announcements, when the remainder of companies’ announcements are available. The report will address the number of male v. female-choreographed works announced for the upcoming 2020-2021 seasons and gender distributions within categories of works and programs (i.e., full-length ballets, mixed bill, main stage, main company programs, etc.).

DDP will continue to update the 2020-2021 Season Status Updates resource in addition to the COVID resources available online at www.dancedataproject.com/resources.