What does the ballet #MeToo mean for DDP?

By Isabelle Vail

18 October 2018

2018 has very much been the year of #MeToo. From the first major accusations in Hollywood beginning a wave in 2017, the world was made aware and a movement took form into what was then the new year.

Amongst the team at DDP, there were many questions. If such horrific abuse was happening in Hollywood, why weren’t we hearing anything about it in the dance world? The two art spheres are practically siblings; men hold the positions of power: the funding, producing, directing, and writing/choreographing. We, like many other individuals in the dance world familiar with the competitive and desperate environment that plagues (and fuels) dance, wondered when the inevitable call to action would begin in our community.

Then the threads began unravelling. The Peter Martins resignation, Marcelo Gomes accusations, #MoiAussi at the Paris Opera Ballet, the Alexandra Waterbury v. NYCB lawsuit. Ballet was (and is) in the midst of its #MeToo reckoning.

Our team has always been committed to promoting equity and opportunity where it is due to women. Equity and respect are not born from a community touched by abuse. It is therefore of equal importance to our organization to report on and condemn acts that deprive women (and men) of respect and challenge their sense of dignity. Our community cannot move forward when those in power like Peter Martins and unnamed others disregard young women (and men)’s years of dedication, vulnerability, and passion through acts of abuse.

The DDP news feed is a means of informing equity through awareness. We hope our visitors are aware of the reality of the present dance world. We hope that you use your knowledge of that reality to make informed, respectful, and appropriate decisions as you lead your own part of the community. While we share articles and blogposts about #MeToo in dance and beyond, we will continue our news feed in the ballet programming category. This movement is not all-encompassing and does not define the dance community.

Companies are creating art and thriving through this difficult climate, and so we too will continue to function, reporting on the good, the bad, and the in-between. Statistics will be interpreted and reported, as fiscal, repertoire-based, and operational equity are not mutually exclusive. DDP is committed to presenting its research, and this research will remain available throughout this important and much-needed evolution. Stay tuned for our findings for the 2018-2019 season and the constantly updated feed of ballet, equity, and transparency news!