DDP will be publishing aggregate data analyzing the 2018-2019 ballet season. In early 2018, Dance Data Project developed its proprietary Self Report Form. Comprised of a series of 80 questions, the Form is meant to capture the representation of women in a company’s artistic team (including choreographers, designers, composers), executive and board-level leadership, as well as details surrounding initiatives intended to empower aspiring choreographers. By collecting data directly from the source – the dance company – we will be able to record and analyze data not previously available to the public in aggregate form.
This includes any production performed by companies from the end of layoff (around September) to its start in the following spring (around May). The exceptions to this rule are major companies with non-regular seasons, which will be incorporated into statistics with a footnote. This data has been obtained through company season press releases. This repertorial data will not come from our Self Report Form, though aggregate data will be derived from what we learn through Self Report Form responses.
In order to guarantee the accuracy of the information reflected in the database, the research team has collected data from publicly-available resources including, but not limited to, Form 990s, scholarly articles, dance reviews from major news outlets and dance blogs, and company websites. As our database has grown and the pertinence of heavily-sourced and accurate information became more apparent, we at DDP realized that we needed to go to companies willing to share with us the most reliable fiscal, operational, repertoire, and personnel data.
This spring, two esteemed companies agreed to be DDP’s first participants in the Self Report initiative: American Ballet Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Company. Cincinnati Ballet, BalletX Philadelphia, and Texas Ballet Theater have also agreed to join these companies in completing the form. In this light, DDP has shared the Self Report Form with the top 50 domestic ballet companies (ranked by level of expenditure), displayed in the image below in alphabetical order. This tool is absolutely integral for accuracy and the integrity of our research, and we have encouraged these companies to join in the growing number of leading organizations teaming up with DDP to inform equity.
The Form is not limited to aggregate comparisons of larger versus smaller companies and their operations, however, as we will refer to specific companies that have incorporated new initiatives and/or commissions that promote female artists (choreographers, set/lighting designers, directors). We want to promote companies that are paying women and men the same, commissioning female choreographers at the same rate as male choreographers, and leading with women in Board, Executive, and Artistic positions. This Form is an opportunity for you to promote your company and your season. DDP wants to know what you are doing to change our community, no matter how large or small your audience. The change must come from somewhere – and that place is not always in NYC or San Francisco.
Inquiries to take part in our Self Report Form are welcome through our Contact Us page; we also welcome the submission of photos and videos to display on our website from companies taking part in the Form.