By Julia Travers
26 April 2019
While women fill most of the shoes in ballet, leadership positions are still dominated by men, especially in choreography and artistic direction roles. A nonprofit called the Dance Data Project (DDP) aims to help more women in dance keep up to date with choreographic opportunities and ascend the ballet leadership ladder. With this goal in mind, in April 2019, DDP released a reporton contemporary opportunities in choreography, along with monthly spreadsheets and calendar reminders of global deadlines. Earlier in 2019, it also published research on salary by gender for leaders in ballet, finding notable imbalances in favor of men, especially in artistic direction.
DDP’s overarching goal is to raise gender equality awareness in ballet through research, advocacy and other programs. It also serves as a resource for other “artists of merit,” including photographers, lighting and costume professionals, set designers, and composers. DDP founder and president, Liza Yntema, is also a personal sponsor of the American Ballet Theatre’s project to support female choreographers called Women’s Movement and a similar initiative from the Boston Ballet called ChoreograpHER.
DDP’s new calendar of opportunities includes ballet choreographic scholarships, fellowships and competitions, which it explains are training pipelines for lucrative choreographer and artistic director positions. As part of its related research efforts, DDP conducted a listening tour of ballet companies in the U.S.
“We heard from ballet company artistic directors and senior staff that women just don’t apply in the same numbers as men, often because they are unaware of what is out there. They do not have the network that men enjoy,” Yntema said in a statement. The directors also said men tend to be more forward and self-promotional during the application process.
Read the full article on Philanthropy Women’s blog.