Amy Seiwert Featured in the Sacramento News & Review

By Isabelle Vail

1 February 2019

Amy Seiwert is well-known to the DDP team as one of the leaders supporting women in dance and equity in the arts. She will be interviewed this week by DDP founder Liza Yntema during a stop on her Listening Tour to Smuin Ballet, where Seiwert is choreographing a world premiere on the company.

In the Sacramento News & Review, Seiwert’s work for Sacramento Ballet, of which she is Artistic Director, is described as invigorating. Tessa Marguerite Outland writes:

Tchaikovsky’s overture floats out of the orchestra pit, and children dash across a dimly lit stage. The scene is set, and the audience waits for Clara, a young girl with bouncing curls, to appear and receive her Christmas gift.

But this time, it’s Marie who twirls in to accept the nutcracker. Unlike Clara, she’s growing out of dolls and into womanhood, though the gentle girl still dreams of lands with sugar plum fairies, Arabian dancers and a toy prince.

In December, The Sacramento Ballet debuted a different version of The Nutcracker, this time under the leadership of a new artistic director, Amy Seiwert. Seiwert admitted that creating her own version was terrifying; looming over the production was the shadow of a beloved 30-year-old legacy, cast by her predecessors and former teachers Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda.

Read the full feature in the Sacramento News & Review.

Look out for Yntema’s interview with Seiwert soon on our blog!

Victoria: Northern Ballet and National Ballet of Canada Feature a Woman Choreographer to Tell a Woman's Story

By Isabelle Vail

25 January 2019

Creator of Jane Eyre for Northern Ballet, Cathy Marston has choreographed a new co-production for the National Ballet of Canada and Northern Ballet. The production is a biopic on the life of Queen Victoria, as recorded in the Queen’s diaries and retold by her daughter following the Queen’s death. The work will premier on March 9th, 2019 in the Leeds Grand Theatre.

Watch a video below and buy tickets here.

BalletX Spring Series Gets In the Studio with 2019 Choreographic Fellow Katarzyna Skarpetowska

By Isabelle Vaik

25 January 2019

Check out a sneak peek of BalletX in the studio with 2019 Choreographic Fellow Katarzyna Skarpetowska. Plus hear from Kate about the inspiration behind her ballet, and excerpts of the music. Catch the World Premiere of Kate's work at Spring Series 2019!

BalletX's 2019 Choreographic Fellow is Katarzyna Skarpetowska. Skarpetowska is creating a new ballet on the company, which will make its world premiere at BalletX's Spring Series 2019 at The Wilma Theater, Mar. 6-17. In this video Skarpetowska explains the inspiration behind her ballet while the company rehearses at BalletX's Center for World Premiere Choreography.

WWD: At San Francisco Ballet’s Opening Gala, Feathers and Feminism

By Diane Dorrans Saeks

24 January 2019

Though centered around fashion, Saeks’ recent article highlights feminism and female choreographers highlighted at the San Francisco Ballet gala:

Fashion and dance were the focus for the evening’s glittery crowd, but feminist issues were a major topic of discussion. Komal Shah ran into Larissa Roesch (wearing an Andrew Gn gown), with whom she founded the Center for Gender Equity and Leadership at University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

“We are planning to highlight and celebrate next year’s centennial of the women’s suffragette movement,” said Shah. “Women have come so far and there is still a lot to do for women in the business sphere. Equity is more urgent than ever.”

The evening’s program included two world premieres with a pas de deux by Bay Area choreographer Danielle Rowe featuring principal dancers Aaron Robison and Sofiane Sylve. It was followed by a new pas de deux by choreographer in residence Yuri Possokhov, with music by Arvo Pärt and featuring principal dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Carlo Di Lanno.

Ballet fan Coralie Langston-Jones loved the new work by Rowe, who also designed the dancers’ costumes. “It’s great to see more female choreographers on the program,” said Langston-Jones, who was accompanied by her daughter, Sophia Wickens, a ballet student, who recently auditioned for San Francisco Ballet’s summer intensive program. “Women’s choreographers are somewhat rare in classical ballet, and Rowe is exceptionally talented.”

Read the full article on WWD.

Pittsburgh City Paper: Jessica Lang Dance closes out seven-year run with performance at Byham Theater Jan. 26

By Steve Sucato

Awareness of the dearth of female choreographers in dance (especially ballet) has become more widespread in recent years. Dance companies and presenters have lined up to showcase programming exhibiting more inclusion on that front and celebrating female dance makers. 

For veteran choreographer Jessica Lang, this current climate of female empowerment represents a bit of a double-edged sword. Lang says that in her eyes, the lack of opportunities for female choreographers has been a problem for a long time, but the sudden rush by dance organizations to create all-female choreographer programs has in some ways exploited the issue. 

“It is slightly insulting to the female choreographers that have been working all along,” says Lang. And while she is all for the wider recognition of the issue, she says “If you like my work, I hope you select it because the work is good and not because I am a woman.”  

Read the full article in Pittsburgh City Paper.