Strange as it may sound, despite the large number of women in the dance field, relatively few contemporary ballet troupes present works by female choreographers.
A new initiative courtesy of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) hopes to change that.
This spring, ABT announced a multi-year initiative called Women’s Movement to support the creation and the staging of new works by at least three female choreographers. Each choreographer will work with her respective group of dancers for a two- to five-week period, receiving guidance and feedback from ABT’s artistic staff.
The announcement comes at a time in which arts funders have been giving more to boost gender parity in fields like classical composition and the cinematic arts. And as far as the field of ballet choreography is concerned, data suggests there is much work to be done.
In 2016, the New York City Ballet performed 58 ballets—and not one was choreographed by a woman. That same year, the ABT presented just one ballet by a woman in New York. And more recently, the San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound Festival presented 12 new ballets by 12 choreographers in. Two were by women.