Northfield, IL | March 14, 2022 | Dance Data Project® today announces the third annual report of dance festival leadership and programming. DDP’s 17th report since February 2019, the 2021 US Dance Festivals Report examines gender equity in dance festival performance programming and leadership, finding that female-led festivals program, on average, 49% works choreographed by women, while male-led festivals program only 38% works choreographed by women. Festivals run by women are simply more equitable.
Festivals present an opportunity for new choreographic works to be tested and presented. The most prized and prestigious commissions are world premieres. Of the 2021 festivals examined, DDP finds that 36% of world premieres were choreographed by women, compared to 47% choreographed by men, with the remainder created by gender expansive choreographers or by co-choreographers of different genders.
“DDP’s third dance festival report provides longitudinal research, comparing trends over time. We are delighted to see a slight increase in the overall percentage of works choreographed by women, but note that women are being given more, shorter mixed-bill works rather than the big commissions, like full evening world premieres,” says DDP Communications Lead Isabelle Ramey.
The 2021 US Dance Festivals Report expands upon the research conducted on festivals of previous years. For the 2021 report, DDP focused solely on U.S. based festivals. The number of choreographed works studied has increased substantially, with 879 separate works examined from 2021, 199 works in 2020, and 230 works in 2019.
Dance Data Project® will produce a separate global version of its festival report later in 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the rise of film as a mode of dance expression and performance. As a result, DDP has included dance film festivals in this report and included an analysis of the modes of presentation (live, virtual, film, and hybrid).
“From our first study in 2019, DDP is not only expanding the scope of our research to include contemporary dance, but further advancing into global coverage by dividing the previous festivals report into U.S. based and international festivals. We have also captured new categories of investigation, such as dance film, that have emerged during the pandemic,” says DDP Founder & President Liza Yntema.
The 2021 US Dance Festivals Report is available on the Research Page of the Dance Data Project® website or by download below.