Dear DDP Family,

Dance Data Project® has accomplished so much in the last few months, and we are delighted to share some of our updates with you in this summery second edition of our newsletter.

On June 10, 2021, we released our third annual Artistic & Executive Leadership Report, which serves as Part 2 of our recently published Largest 50 U.S. Ballet Companies & Scope of the Industry Report. Our most in-depth Report to date, Part 2 analyzes the gender distribution of leadership, funding, and director compensation, while expanding to associate artistic directors and doubling the number of ballet companies surveyed to 100. The results of our research can be found here. *Our team investigated some shocking findings--take a look at Dance Magazine’s coverage of the report release here.

The Dance/USA virtual annual conference took place June 14-16. I was proud to present a panel entitled Why We Have to Change - A Vision for a Creative Economy That Includes & Celebrates Women, where I moderated a discussion on the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women in the creative professions. The panel included Choreographer Helen Pickett, Founder and Executive Director of Ladies of Hip Hop Michele Byrd-McPhee, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Artistic Director Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell.
We kicked off Round 5 of our Global Conversations series entitled Behind the Stage this week. This set of interviews focuses on artists and artisans who work behind the scenes, from stage managers to lighting designers, fight choreographers to the COO of the Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis, TN. Their stories are being shared along with their experiences throughout the pandemic, including how the industry as a whole and they as individuals worked to continue creating during lockdowns, partial re-openings, and plein air performances. In addition, for the first time, Global Conversations is presented in partnership with the Auditorium Theatre. You can watch the introductory conversation I did with CEO Rich Regan here. We are delighted that this series has received recommendation in the press - see the feature in Broadway World Chicago here. Notably, our capstone interview with Lighting Designer Jennifer Tipton, which will air on Friday, July 9th, marks our 50th Global Conversations interview since the series began. We're excited to celebrate this historic DDP milestone!

Catch the episodes each weekday through Friday, July 9, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT on IGTV, YouTube, and our website.
Other recent notable accomplishments include:

Finally, I am happy to introduce our summer cohort, which includes six new members to the DDP team while still celebrating the continued participation of our current interns. You can learn more about each of them at the top of the features.

Our upcoming research includes a first-time Summer Intensive Overview and our annual Season Overview. Other ongoing projects include Global Conversations, our “DDP Talks To…” series, and various social media and advocacy campaigns.

In this issue, we have the following features:
  • An Introduction to DDP's Summer Cohort
  • Women-Led Company Profiles
  • Charlottesville Ballet
  • Ballet Ireland
  • A Blog Excerpt from Nicole Haskins
  • Choreographer Profiles
  • Zoë Ashe-Browne
  • The Latest in DDP Research
  • A Q&A with Author & Global Conversations Round 3 Participant Chloe Angyal about her new book Turning Pointe
  • Company & Choreographer Updates and New Commissions & Announcements
  • DDP Team Updates & Transitions

I thank you for your continued support and hope you stay tuned for what’s to come. 

Take care and be well,
Meet the DDP Team: Our Summer Cohort
DDP welcomes our 6 new team members for summer 2021!

Introducing Isabelle Ramey (Special Projects Consultant), Junyla Silmon (Intern), Christiana McLeod Horn (Intern), Elena Dalla Torre (Intern), Sophia Dunn-Fox (Research Fellow), and Krysten Harper (Fellow), who will be working with DDP to advocate for women in dance through research and strategic communications. Brief bios are below, but visit our Team Page for more info.
Isabelle Ramey is a recent graduate of Butler University with a BFA in Dance Performance and BS in Mathematics, where she received recognition for both her artistic and academic achievements. This fall she will begin her first season as a professional ballet dancer with Ballet Austin. Isabelle is eager to meld her interests while championing equity in dance.
Junyla Silmon is currently a senior at Montclair State University earning a BFA in Dance Performance and a Minor in Business Administration. Junyla is also a student representative in the Artist of Color Advisory Council and the ADVANCE team, two organizations committed to enhancing diversity, inclusion, and equity within the Theatre and Dance Department of her university. 
Christiana McLeod Horn is a recent alumna of Spelman College, with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. She graduated with honors, is a published author, and has an extensive history studying dance and dance theory. Originally from Augusta, Georgia, McLeod Horn is a movement artist with a passion for social change.  
Elena Dalla Torre is a senior at Montclair State University seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of the Arts in Communications and Media Arts. She has both experience in choreography, as well as performance, participating in works by Stefanie Batten Bland, Shannon Gillen, and Ohad Naharin. As a student she advocates for equity and understanding through work in gender and race.
Sophia Dunn-Fox is a senior majoring in data science with a domain area in dance at Mount Holyoke College, She discovered her interest in data research before college through an internship in the sociology department of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her long-term interests focus on using data science as a tool to actively support diversity and equity in the arts and larger social issues that we face today. 
Kyrsten Harper graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education in 2019 and is currently attending SUU for her Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration. She has also been awarded as the Outstanding Graduate in her program. Kyrsten is a dance educator, choreographer, and arts administrator whose passion is advocating for the arts and helping students find a love for art.
Women-Led Company Profiles
DDP Talks To... Charlottesville Ballet
What is it like to co-direct a small ballet company in a college town? Who better to answer this question than Sara Clayborne and Emily Hartka, founders and co-directors of Charlottesville Ballet. The two graciously answered questions about their decision to found a ballet company focused on the holistic development and wellness of dancers, how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted their operations, their support of women choreographers, and what's ahead for them in the future.

DDP Talks To... Ballet Ireland
Dublin-born Anne Maher is one of Ireland’s most respected voices in ballet and dance, with an international career spanning over 35 years. DDP had the opportunity to virtually sit down with Ms. Maher a few months ago. We talked through everything from Ballet Ireland's support of women choreographers, the experience of being an international company during the pandemic lockdowns, and what she is looking forward to next.

From the DDP Blog

DDP ally and choreographer Nicole Haskins writes about how foundations and other funders can support the advancement of female choreographers in ballet in order to increase equity within the industry.

DDP Talks To... Zoë Ashe-Browne
DDP had the pleasure of interviewing Choreographer and Dancer Zoë Ashe-Brown as part of our "DDP Talk To..." series. The conversation was freewheeling and spanned her background, beginnings as a choreographer, recent projects, and her thoughts on the future.

The Latest in DDP Research & Programming
A note from DDP Research Lead Michayla Kelly:
"Our research this spring has revealed some important findings, as covered in Dance Magazine. I am just as excited for our summer and fall research projects, including a Databyte on Summer Intensives, a Season Overview of 2020-2021, and a look at Global Ballet Leadership. DDP is also keeping an eye on announcements for the 2021-2022 seasons, with the hope of seeing an increased number of commissioned female choreographers, to be covered in our upcoming First Look: 2021-22 Season Report. Stay tuned!"
Published on: 6/10/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released its annual Artistic & Executive Leadership Report, doubling the scope of ballet companies surveyed to 100 and, for the first time, including compensation analysis for associate artistic directors and other highly paid individuals, in addition to previously surveyed artistic and executive directors. The persistent gender-based pay and opportunity gap in the dance world is glaring, further substantiated by these findings:

  • Only 30% of artistic directors at the largest 50 ballet companies in the United States are women, earning only 73 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts (well below the national average of 83 cents per male-earned dollar)
  • Only 36% of associate artistic director positions in the largest 50 ballet companies in the U.S. are women

As several key artistic directors are set to retire in 2022, it is clear that these findings must be addressed as new leaders emerge in the professional ballet world.

To read the full report, click here.
Published on: 5/25/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released its third annual “Global Fellowships, Competitions, and Initiatives Guide”, which exists as a comprehensive “one stop shop” for connecting choreographers, artists, and students with an exciting array of international opportunities in the dance field. The guide, expanded 20% since its conception, includes summaries of each program along with information regarding eligibility, deadlines, compensation, and an accessible link to the application page.

To view the full guide, click here.
Published on: 5/12/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released its annual analysis examining the largest 50 ballet-based companies in the United States, ranked by total budget. Taking this one step further, the scope of DDP’s reporting has expanded to include and analyze the “Next 50” companies by size, which in total represent only 7% of the combined budgets of the “Largest 50”. This analysis reveals how comparatively meager the resources are for the next tier of U.S. ballet companies, who bear the large responsibility of enriching local communities nationwide.  

To view the full report, click here.
Sexual Assault and Harassment Awareness Resources
Released on: 5/6/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released multiple tools to provide dance schools, students, parents, and instructors with specific measures to help students and professionals recognize and prevent sexual harassment or physical abuse.

The first is a checklist of safety measures and best practices for ballet and dance schools related to student safety, reporting, and policy.

The second is a resource detailing work being done globally to address sexual abuse and harassment in the dance and allied performance fields, sports, and youth-oriented not for profits.

Additionally, a virtual interview between Emma Lister, Zoë Ashe-Brown, and DDP’s Communications Manager Ellen FitzGerald and Founder & President Liza Yntema is captured to discuss their work regarding mental health in ballet, the checklist, and how the culture within ballet can change to protect students and dancers alike.

Released on: 3/25/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released Global Conversations: From the Ground Up, the fourth round in a series of virtual interviews. Round 4 features ten conversations with a roster of majority women leaders of national dance and presenting service organizations, as well as artistic and executive directors, dancers, and choreographers. The installment features both one-on-one interviews and roundtable style conversations striving to turn a critical lens on every aspect of the ballet world from teaching and pre-professional development to how work is commissioned, platformed, branded, and marketed.

To view the round 4 archived interviews, along with all rounds of Global Conversations, click here.
Published on 3/2/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released its Data Byte: Global Resident Choreographer Survey 2021, a mini-report focusing on the gender distribution of 64 resident choreographer (RC) positions 143 ballet companies, in both the U.S. and globally. The study found just 28 percent of all resident choreographers are women. Domestically, DDP finds 11 female resident choreographers out of 34 positions, while internationally, DDP’s research shows 7 women among 30 positions. The research points to an underrepresentation of women in these positions, which are vital in paving a path towards leadership. Opportunity, coupled with stability and benefits, of this nature is not otherwise afforded to freelance workers in the dance community.

To view the full report, click here
Published on 2/8/21 | Dance Data Project® (DDP) released Data Byte: Top 50 Affiliate Ballet Schools 2020, a mini-report focusing on the gender distribution in leadership among the ballet schools connected to the Top 50 U.S. ballet companies. The mini-report looks at the 45 out of 46 schools affiliated with the Top 50 companies who made faculty information publicly available on their websites. After examining leadership in these schools, it is noted that more men possess leadership roles with women overrepresented in lower, less well-compensated tiers.

To view the full report, click here.
Dance Data Project®  Featured in New Book from Journalist and Author Chloe Angyal
In a written interview between Chloe Angyal and DDP Founder & President Liza Yntema, Ms. Angyal talks about her book Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers is Saving Ballet from Itself, the importance of DDP's work, and what's ahead for the future.

Liza Yntema: So, we are on the eve of publication of your has the reception been? What else would you have included since you turned in your final draft?

Chloe Angyal: The reception has been good so far. Reviews are positive, and more importantly, dancers and former dancers have told me that it makes them feel understood, validated, and less alone. Which is really all you can ask for when you put a piece of writing out into the world.

LY: What are you writing and thinking about now?

CA: I'm thinking about all the ballet students and parents I'll get to meet when I do my dance school book tour this spring and summer! Events are virtual and free for the school to host, and it's a chance for advanced ballet students and their parents to learn more about the book and the issues in it. If teachers or parents want to bring me and the book to their school, there's an easy way to schedule that here.

LY: Is there anyone’s writing that gives you inspiration?

CA: I'm continually inspired by academics or former academics who write for readers outside of academia without losing their rigor, especially Tressie McMillan Cottom and Anne Helen Petersen. 

LY: Do you want to talk about specific companies or leadership, folks in ballet that are doing a great/not so great job and why?

CA: Theresa Ruth Howard at Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet has been doing the work of excavating and undoing the biases of the ballet world for a long time, and this year she'll curate a week of ballet that centers Blackness as part of the Kennedy Center's 50th anniversary season. I'm really excited about that. And Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin of Final Bow for Yellow Face have been channeling their love for ballet into making the art form more inclusive and respectful for years, and their work is really paying off.

LY: Can you give a few specific ways in which the next generation will change dance?

CA: I use the term "generation" loosely, and not necessarily as a marker of age. Many people have done this work before and many will keep doing it, regardless of their age. But one thing I find inspiring about Gen Z is that they don't respect the boundaries between ballet and the rest of the world - and that's good. They don't believe they should stop caring about gender equality or racial justice when they step into the ballet studio. They demand it out in the "real world" and they want it in the ballet world, too. And they're right. That said, I'm wary of the notion that Gen Z will save us all. It's too much to ask of them to fix a problem they didn't create, all on their own. It won't work with climate change or gun violence, and it won't work with ballet, either. It takes all of us to save us.

LY: How did DDP’s research impact the writing of your book and your work in general?

CA: The Dance Data Project ® has been doing the essential work of gathering information about the state of gender equity (or the lack thereof) in the ballet world. Diagnosing the problem is the only way to begin solving it, and I was glad to include their data in my book.

LY: Anything fun or personal you want to share?

CA: I'm getting a puppy in two weeks! Her name is going to be Zelda, and I haven't met her yet but I already know she's the best dog in the entire world.

LY: Do you have your next book in mind?

CA: I do! I'm working on a book right now that combines my PhD in romantic comedies and my years of work on ballet. Stay tuned!
Susan Jaffe Announces Celebratory First Full Season at the Helm of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
The pandemic brought Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) 50th Anniversary Season to a halt. After a year at the company’s head, Artistic Director Susan Jaffe unveils a 2021-2022 season to lift up innovative voices, revisit beloved classics, and bring fan favorites to life on stage.

A particular triumph is Jaffe’s “Here + Now” program, celebrating those who have contributed important work to the art form with a program fully choreographed by women.

The 2021-2022 season is also set to include:
  • "Season Premiere" -- a mixed repertory performance capturing the evolution and essence of the art form, featuring the PBT Orchestra
  • "The Nutcracker" -- the classic holiday tradition to Tchaikovsky's score
  • "Alice in Wonderland" -- an outlandish and whimsical ode to Lewis Carroll's characters
  • "Swan Lake" -- the classic brought to life with the help of the PBT Orchestra

Click here to learn more about the season and Jaffe's work with PBT.
Eugene Ballet Moves into New Home at Midtown Arts Center & Announces New Season
We want to congratulate Eugene Ballet on their move to Midtown Arts Center in Eugene, OR.

In an article for KLCC, Oregon's NPR affiliate, Artistic Director Toni Pimble said the new space "is like night and day. And it is day with brilliant sunshine, because it is absolutely fabulous. This is our forever home.”

We are so thrilled for the company, which will premiere a new season beginning in November.

Click here to learn more about the Eugene Ballet.
Artistic Director Victoria Morgan Announces Retirement from Cincinnati Ballet
Victoria Morgan announced she will step down as Cincinnati Ballet Artistic Director at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 Season, which also marks her 25th Anniversary Season.

Morgan’s artistic contributions to Cincinnati Ballet are innumerable. Throughout her tenure, she has choreographed many one-act and full-length ballets, including world premieres of King Arthur’s Camelot, the new Nutcracker, and her revised choreography for Cinderella. Using roots deeply established within the Cincinnati community, Morgan was instrumental in fundraising efforts to secure support for the new 57,000-square-foot Cincinnati Ballet Margaret and Michael Valentine Center for Dance.

She responded to the global pandemic in a creative and science-based way, managing to safely present one of the nation’s first ballet performances to an in-person audience following the shutdown.

Morgan graduated Magna Cum Laude with an M.F.A. from University of Utah and was honored as a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement in 2009.

Regarding her retirement, Morgan notes: “I will cherish being with you next season, as I have done so many seasons before. Nothing will give me greater joy than raising the curtain on this remarkable season together one last time for my grand finale.”

Learn more about Morgan's final season with Cincinnati Ballet here.
Karen Kain Set to Retire, Premiere of Her Reimagined Swan Lake on the Horizon
The National Ballet of Canada's Artistic Director Karen Kain announced plans to step down from her role in the fall of 2019. However, the following year proved that the plan of a January 2021 departure would be impossible. As 2020 unfolded in unimaginable ways, Kain celebrated her 50th season as a part of the National Ballet, recognized by all for her artistic contributions. In June 2021, Ms. Kain will step down as Artistic Director and will be named Artistic Director Emerita.

As a parting gesture of love to the company and artform that has been her home for over 50 years, Kain creates a new staging of Swan Lake inspired by Erik Bruhn's landmark version, set to premiere in June of 2022. Her take on the classic pays special attention to the emotional core of the ballet. In the lakeside scenes (Acts II and IV), Swan Lake retains much of the choreography from Erik Bruhn’s 1967 staging, which Karen Kain performed throughout her career. Kain's revisit to this adored classic cements her legacy with the National Ballet.

To learn more about Karen Kain's career, click here.
To learn more about her staging of Swan Lake, click here.
The Joyce Theatre Presents #QueertheBallet's "Animals & Angels"
The Joyce’s Pride 2021 programming will feature the premiere of “Animals & Angels,” a dynamic love story featuring two female-identifying dancers en pointe. #QueertheBallet’s founder and choreographer Adriana Pierce led the work’s creation as a means to challenge the deeply engrained gender roles of classical ballet. “Animals & Angels” is a sensitive, affectionate depiction of a blossoming queer relationship, honoring the female dancers’ emotional and physical connections with one another. The work, performed by Audrey Malek and Cortney Taylor Key, premieres Monday, June 21 and will remain available to view through Sunday, July 18.

#QueertheBallet is an initiative founded by Pierce to meaningfully include LGBTQ+ narratives and creative voices in the classical ballet realm. This will be achieved through supporting works by queer artists, providing aid and support to LGBTQ+ dancers and choreographers, and facilitating outreach and education.

To learn more about #QueertheBallet, click here.
To learn more about the “Animals & Angels” streaming, click here.
Stephanie Martinez's Choreography Premieres Across the Country, Leaves Lasting Impressions
Stephanie Martinez is an award-winning, prolific choreographer and the founder and artistic director of Chicago-based repertory company PARA.MAR Dance Theatre.
Martinez established PARA.MAR in 2020 and immediately went to work, allowing for the world premiere of her widely-acclaimed kiss. to successfully run mid-pandemic. The debut left a mark on west coast dance director and evolver Lillian Barbeito, who booked the troupe for a week-long residency at her newest endeavor, the Carmel Dance Festival. The festival's inaugural season begins this July, equipped with live performers, classes, and opportunities for elevating choreographers.
The work left impressions in both contemporary and classical ballet spheres, as kiss. will make its Cincinnati premiere as a part of Cincinnati Ballet's Bold Moves Plus, a program highlighting three notable female choreographers later this June. Accompanying Martinez's work are pieces by Heather Britt, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Mark Morris.

To learn more about Stephanie Martinez and PARA.MAR, click here.
To learn more about Bold Moves Plus, click here.
Company SBB Celebrates First Residency Post-Pandemic
Company SBB//Stefanie Batten Bland, renowned for its work impacting local and global communities, has been visiting Martha's Vineyard every year since 2016. This summer, Company SBB returned for a 3-week creative residency at The Yard.

The residency culminated in outdoor performances and previews of a 2022 work entitled Embarqued. An installation based dance-theatre work, Embarqued centers around a performative shipmast that invites reflection and reveals post-colonial foundations and mythology. It serves to call up African ancestral stories integral to making our history united. The work in progress enables us to connect our country both forwards and backwards in space and time.

To learn more about Company SBB//Stefanie Batten Bland, click here.
Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company Thrives Under Lisa Collins Vidnovic's Leadership
The Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company serves the greater Philadelphia region as a hub for aspiring dancers and emerging choreographers. Artistic Director and Founder Lisa Collins Vidnovic has nurtured a community which ensures that dance continues to be relevant, exciting and accessible for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. DDP had the pleasure to virtually meet Vidnovic earlier this year and talked with her about her unique approach to directing and teaching. Vidnovic, a recipient of the 2020 Philadelphia Arts + Business Council Leadership Award, has developed a Boys' Scholarship Program as well as a Kinetic Literacy Program in partnership with The School District of Philadelphia as part of her tenure with Metropolitan.

Metropolitan supports guest and homegrown choreographers alike, lifting up voices like those of Jessica Lang and Mary LeGere.

To learn more about Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company, click here.
DDP on the Move!
There are big things happening among our DDP Advisory Council and team members!
Learn more about these exciting updates below and on our team and advisory council webpages.
Northwestern U. Professor Charles Whitaker joins DDP Advisory Council
DDP is thrilled to announce that Charles Whitaker has joined our Advisory Council. Whitaker is Dean and professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Before joining the Medill faculty, he was a senior editor at Ebony Magazine. Whitaker has also led a prolific journalism career, working with institutions such as the Miami Herald and the Louisville (Ky.) Times, and contributing articles to the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Saturday Evening Post, Chicago Parent magazine, and Folio, the magazine of the magazine industry. Among Whitaker’s many notable roles and endeavors, he authored four statistical analyses of the hiring of women and minorities in the magazine industry, co-directed Project Masthead (a program designed to encourage students of color to consider careers in the magazine industry), and has served as an adviser on diversity issues for the Magazine Publishers of America.
Advisory Council Member Iyun Harrison Joins Faculty at Duke University
In another exciting update, Advisory Council member Iyun Harrison has started a new position as Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Head of Ballet at Duke University. Most recently an Assistant Professor at Goucher College, Iyun is also a doctoral candidate in Education at Marymount University. We are so excited and wish him the best of luck in his new role!
DDP Advisory Council Member & Former Director of Research Isabelle Vail Accepts New Professional Role
In April, longtime DDP Director of Research Isabelle Vail transitioned to our Advisory Council, and we are excited to announce that she has just accepted an opportunity as Manager of Client Strategy & Analytics at Bliss Point Media. In this new professional role, Isabelle will essentially be working as an account manager with client campaign data, optimizing their returns and making sure the agency best serves their needs. Of her time at DDP, she said, "The four years I spent at DDP gave me the skills, confidence, and support system few people are able to access at such an early stage in their careers. I am humbled and grateful to remain involved, and I am so proud to see DDP's recent growth and expansion." We can't wait to see what she accomplishes through this new professional opportunity!
Communications Manager Ellen FitzGerald Transitions to New Role
Lastly, Communications Manager Ellen FitzGerald has accepted a full-time role as a Management Consultant with Blue Beyond Consulting and will begin in a few weeks. Ellen has been instrumental in the expansion of DDP's communications and programming efforts over the last year plus, including the launch of this newsletter, our Connecting the Dots - #YesThisIsAnArtsStory reporting, social media and press releases, and Global Conversations. She found DDP after hearing Liza featured on NPR in early 2020 and did some project-based work for us prior to the pandemic. She came on in a larger, more permanent capacity in the fall of 2020. Lucky for us, she will remain on as Newsletter Editor. "I am so grateful that I found Liza and Dance Data Project® at the time in my career that I did. DDP helped develop my communication skills and trusted me to bring forward new and creative ideas to help move the work forward. I'm humbled by all that our small and mighty team has accomplished, especially during the pandemic. As a former professional ballet dancer, I cannot say enough about the important work DDP is doing to highlight gender inequities that exist in the industry and advocate for change, and I and look forward to remaining involved."
Edited by Ellen FitzGerald
Header Artwork by Elliana Given