Northfield, IL | February 17, 2023 | Today, Dance Data Project® announces the first-ever Data Byte examining full-length world and United States premieres between 2018 and 2023 by the Largest 50 companies (ranked based on financial expenditure from FY 2020). Opportunities to create and stage full-length works for companies are important milestones in choreographers’ careers, as they require a large investment of company resources including money, time with dancers, costumes, sets, and other creative team members.

“Directors at prominent companies have realized the powerful connections that opportunities like this create for emerging and seasoned choreographers,” says DDP Founder & President, Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Yntema. “American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Susan Jaffe recently told The Washington Post ‘rest assured, you’re going to see full-length ballets by women’ on the ABT stage. Imagine how many careers of female choreographers could be launched to the next level, if more companies followed suit.”

For this report, DDP distinguishes between full-length world premieres and full-length U.S. premieres. Full-length world and U.S. premieres for 2023 include announced works that are yet to be presented as of February 2023. Virtual dance works and films were excluded from this Data Byte and will be presented in a future Report.

Between 2018 and 2023, DDP found 78 full-length world premieres were commissioned by the Largest 50 companies. 14 (18%) were choreographed by women, 60 (77%) were choreographed by men, and 4 (5%) were choreographed by teams of co-choreographers of both men and women. These findings highlight the lack of opportunities for women to create new full-length works.

“We’ve found that women can be siloed into creating works for mixed repertoire productions or ‘one-off’ gala performances,” says DDP Research Coordinator Jenna Magrath. “While these commissions can help choreographers build their portfolio and confidence, they are effectively being trusted with less – less resources, less time, and less exposure, sharing the news headlines with two or three other choreographers.”

Nine companies from the Largest 50 (18% of companies) commissioned full-length world premieres by women between 2018 and 2023. These include Philadelphia Ballet, Ballet West, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, Ballet Hispánico, Los Angeles Ballet, BalletX, Eugene Ballet, and Ballet San Antonio. Eugene Ballet presented the largest number of female-choreographed full-length premiere works (three world premieres total). Ballet West and Philadelphia Ballet’s second companies both presented two world premieres choreographed by women.

Between 2018 and 2023, 7 full-length works were presented in the United States for the first time; two were choreographed by women and five by men. Female-choreographed U.S. premieres were commissioned by Tulsa Ballet, and co-commissioned by American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet.

DDP obtained the information for the Full-Length Premieres 2018-2023 Data Byte through longitudinal seasoning programming data, company websites, past press releases, social media, and news and media sources. DDP contacted the Largest 50 companies directly and individually to confirm the data representing their organization. DDP extends gratitude to the 38% of companies who responded to our request to verify their information.

The Full-Length Premieres 2018-2023 Data Byte can be found on DDP’s website or by download below.