Scene from Rock-a-Bye, Choreography by Penny Saunders
Courtesy of BalletX
Photographer: Candice DeTore
Liza Yntema and DDP Featured in Classic Chicago Magazine
Judy Carmack Bross of the Classic Chicago Magazine recently profiled our founder, Liza Yntema, for their New Year series where they profile Chicagoans who are seeking change with big, bold visions. Read the article on classicchicagomagazine.com.
DDP on Tour to Companies Large and Small
DDP is interested in dialogue with artistic and executive leadership promoting women and their interests. Our founder, Liza Yntema, has begun a listening tour, visiting on behalf of Dance Data Project at leading domestic companies. Previously, Ms. Yntema visited the ABT for its inaugural choreographic Incubator, as well as attending the Guggenheim’s Works & Process featuring Marina Harss, Patricia Barretto and Tamara Rojo discussing the English National Ballet’s new Giselle by Akram Khan. After a stop at BalletX in Philadelphia, Liza has learned more about their Choreographic Fellowship, and her interview with Artistic Director Christine Cox will soon appear in a feature for the DDP News page. She intends to familiarize herself with each major company's culture, while working to advance those companies with DDP's mission of gender equity in all aspects of classical dance.
She returned to NYC to conduct an initial interview with Katherine Brown, Executive Director of NYCB, the week of December 11th. On the 17th-18th of January, Ms. Yntema will visit The Washington Ballet following her meeting with Cincinnati Ballet’s team in the days prior. She heads to Grand Rapids Ballet the week of January 14th to watch Penny Saunders create her newest work on the company. The week of February 5th, Ms. Yntema is headed to San Fransisco to interview Amy Siewert of Sacremento Ballet who is making a new work on the dancers of Smuin Ballet. That same week, she will hop a plane to Boston where she will meet Boston Ballet leaders to discuss the ChoreograpHER initiative.
Next up for the week of February 25th is a visit to Cincinnati Ballet, for an interview with Artistic Director, Choreographer, and iconic industry leader Victoria Morgan.
Also on the roster for Spring 2019 are: Richmond Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, and Smuin Ballet.
We believe it is critical to take the time to get to know each company with on-site visits. The companies face challenges as organizations based outside of the dance hubs of the world (i.e., New York, San Francisco, London). Through this tour, Ms. Yntema will match DDP's future advocacy and programming to actual needs.
Companies in secondary markets operating on smaller budgets produce much of the best work in ballet. To fund new innovative work, they often commission up-and-coming women choreographers. Journalists, funders, and audiences are deprived the opportunity to discover the exciting initiatives and original work created outside of the largest cities in the US, with notable exceptions such as festivals like Jacob’s Pillow, or engagements at venues such as the Joyce, Harris, and Ford Theaters and the LA Music Center.
Companies wishing to join the listening tour roster are welcome to inquire through our Contact Us page.
DDP Self Report Form Sent to Top 50 Domestic Companies
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.
The following are the Top 50 excluding ABT and Hubbard Street, as they were sent the Self Report Form first (prior to October) and separately due to their kind compliance with our request ahead of the regular release, so below you only see 48 companies.
New York City Ballet
San Francisco Ballet
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Miami City Ballet
Kansas City Ballet
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Texas Ballet Theater
Sarasota Ballet of Florida
Oregon Ballet Theatre
Ballet Hispanico of New York
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Nevada Ballet Theatre
American Repertory Ballet
Los Angeles Ballet
Oklahoma City Ballet
Grand Rapids Ballet
Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre
Eugene Ballet Company
LA Dance Project