Northfield, IL | May, 2 2023 | Today, Dance Data Project® releases the fourth annual Data Byte examining resident choreographer positions across the globe. This year’s Global Resident Choreographer Data Byte signals a marked increase in the total number of companies analyzed, from 270 companies in 2022 to 348 companies in 2023.

Companies surveyed were sourced from DDP’s recent Largest 150 U.S. Ballet & Classically Based Companies & Financial Scope of the IndustryLargest 50 U.S. Contemporary and Modern Dance Companies, and the 148 non-U.S. ballet companies presented in the 2023 Global Leadership Report.

Of the 348 companies examined, DDP identified 89 companies employing at least one resident choreographer, with a total of 116 individuals holding the title. Of these, there are 42 female resident choreographers (36%) and 74 male resident choreographers (64%). In the 2022 iteration of this study, DDP determined women comprised 32% of resident choreographer positions.

“To gain a deeper understanding of what sizes and types of companies are employing female resident choreographers, the DDP Research Team broke the study into five categories: the Largest 50 (ballet), the Next 50 (ballet), the Additional 50 (ballet), the Largest 50 (modern & contemporary), and the Global Company sample,” said DDP Research Coordinator Jenna Magrath.

In this year’s Data Byte, three of the five categories have more female resident choreographers than male resident choreographers: Next 50 U.S Ballet & Classically Based Companies, Additional 50 U.S. Ballet & Classically Based Companies, and the Largest 50 U.S. Contemporary and Modern Companies.

DDP’s research shows that the three categories which are currently employing more female resident choreographers operate with much smaller budgets than the Largest 50 U.S. Ballet & Classically Based companies, which comprised 91% of the overall combined expenditures in FY2020.

“These findings indicate that companies with smaller operating budgets are managing to equitably hire resident choreographers, despite having more limited resources,” said DDP Senior Research Consultant Junyla Silmon. “While we are seeing a shift towards more women gaining resident choreographer positions across the globe, we remain disappointed by the lack of female representation in RC positions at the largest ballet companies.”

The position of resident choreographer, while it does not exist at every company and varies between organizations, represents job stability, resources, and artistic opportunity for choreographers, who otherwise tend to operate as freelancers or gig-workers. Benefits of the resident choreographer position may include the practical: job security, stable income, health benefits, as well as the artistic: consistent commissions, talented dancers, reliable production elements, a built-in audience base.

The title of “resident choreographer” also varies between companies as some companies use other terms such as “associate choreographer,” “artist-in-residence,” “artistic associate,” and “house choreographer” to highlight those who hold artistic creative positions. We also note that several companies, like the Royal Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet, employ more than one artist as resident choreographers.

Alongside the 2023 Global Resident Choreographers Data Byte, DDP announces the release of three new DDP Talks To… interviews highlighting the role of resident choreographers at prominent U.S. ballet organizations. Interviews with Claudia Schreier, resident choreographer at Atlanta Ballet, Andrea Schermoly, resident choreographer at Louisville Ballet, and Robert Curran, artistic director at Louisville Ballet are available to read on our website. Visit the DDP Talks To page to learn more.

The Global Resident Choreographers 2023 Data Byte can be found on DDP’s website or by download below.