Northfield, IL | January 21, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today releases its first international study, the “Global Resident Choreographer Survey.” DDP examined 69 U.S.-based and 47 international ballet companies for a total sample size of 116 companies. Thirty-seven of the 116 companies surveyed employ a resident choreographer. Of those, 76 percent have exclusively men in the position.
“Ballet is big business,” said Liza Yntema, Founder and President of DDP, “It is critical to look at how the industry’s resources are allocated. In the case of American ballet companies, the distribution of assets is drastically unequal.”
“The Top 10 U.S. ballet companies alone consume 61 percent of the $586 million combined budgets by expenditures of the Top 50, while the Top 25 companies represent an even greater 82 percent. All eyes are on these companies that possess the lion’s share of resources and critical attention,” said Yntema, “Yet the 12 companies among these leaders who have resident choreographers have hired only one woman for the position.”
The 15 international companies surveyed do not prove to be significantly more equitable, with three of these companies employing women as resident choreographers. “The role of artist-in-residence is perhaps the most secure opportunity for choreographers. In most cases, this position offers a steady income and contractual benefits, precious time to ‘workshop’ with dancers, a regular audience, and many more advantages,” said DDP Director of Research Isabelle Vail, “In total, nine women are employed in this position, and one of these women serves alongside three men for an international company.”
Dance Data Project® will continue research in 2020 with a quantitative review of major U.S. dance venues, announcement of an updated “Top 50” U.S. ballet companies (ranked from largest to smallest budget), and the upcoming “Artistic and Executive Leadership Report” in February/March.