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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballets: Female Choreographers

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OK, here I go again thinking... :)

I can only think of a handful of well-known female choreographers:

1. Pina Bausch

2. Julie Adam

3. Deanna Carter

4. Birgit Scherzer

5. Ruthanna Boris

6. Kathryn Posin

7. Ruth Page

Can you think of others for me?

Is there a dearth of female choreographers and if so, any ruminations on why?

Do you think female choreographers lack the depth of male choreographers?

I don't want to start a war-just an honest discussion :unsure:

Clara :shrug:


ps to moderators-if this should be a poll, please let me know :shrug:

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Guest Old Fashioned

Natalie Weir, Lila York.


The works of these two, plus Julia Adam, will be featured in the first program Houston Ballet is presenting in the 2004-05 season. HB titled it "Women's Movement" (the program, not the individual ballets), and they say they are "one of the few American ballet companies to dedicate an entire program to the works of three living female choreographers" and calls them "three of the world's most gifted female choreographers." Thought you might like to know. :)


Also adding Susan Stroman and Ann Reinking to the list.

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Guest Old Fashioned
Is there a dearth of female choreographers and if so, any ruminations on why?

Do you think female choreographers lack the depth of male choreographers?

Okay, back to your other questions:

It's not that women are not capable of creating works that can be equivalent to men's, but I believe the reason women are not as recognized is deeply rooted in traditional society's values. In dance, as in music and art among many other things, females have been discouraged from being the "creators" of works. If women had always been given the same opportunities as men, I'm sure there could be a female composer as great as Mozart, sculptor as great as Michelangelo, or choreographer as great as Petipa. Although in the past women, despite discouragement, have achieved a great many things, why aren't figures like Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Clara Schumann as well known as their male counterparts? Why is Camille Claudel overshadowed by Rodin? It isn't until the 20th century that great female choregraphers emerge, like DeMille, Graham, and Isadora Duncan. As for female choreographers today, I don't think there's a dearth of them at all. No, none of them may be great, but I don't think today's male choreographers are any better.

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Thanks to all-any more you can think of??? :shrug: How about the ratio of female choreographers doing contemporary as opposed to classical??? :shrug:

Clara :shrug:

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Guest Lovebird

You have forgotten a very famous female choreographer, proving that women can also be creators. Ninette de Valois not only made such great choreographic works as Job, The Rake's Progress, and Checkmate, she also created one, no two of the largest companies and ballet organizations in the world, the Royal Ballet, and it's touring companion, now called the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and it's school, the Royal Ballet School.

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For ballet add Melissa Barak and Miriam Mahadivani (sp?). Also Lisa de Ribere. In the modern dance world, the list is much longer, add:


Lucinda Childs

Trisha Brown

Susan Marshall

Dana Reitz

Sarah Skaggs

Laura Dean

Neta Pulvermacher

Jennifer Muller



Do Jacqueline Bugalisi and Elisa Monte choreograph? Or is the work that their companies perform choreographed by others?

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Another one I forgot :P is also one of my favorite dancers of all time..Natalia Makarova. I know she has staged ballets but I believe that she is also choreographing. Shame on me for forgetting so many people!! :blushing::blushing::blushing:

I am glad to see that so many of you are not forgetting!! :shhh::D:wink:

Have any of you seen the works from the women you are pointing out?

What do you think of them?

Clara :D

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This is so great because it is forcing me to look up these wonderful, inspiring women, whom I never really think about when I am thinking "Choreographers". I wonder why that is? :shrug:

I seem to recall in the cobwebs of my mind that it was Bronia Nijinska who protected her brother during his decline. Something about re-writing a book? Or something. :shrug::shrug::shrug:

Also, Fokine's granddaughter?? I saw a documentary on her staging some of his ballets and the disagreements that were taking place over what she said was the choreography, and what the companies' who'd been dancing the choreography for years thought it was. :unsure:

Clara :)

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liebs: Thanks for mentioning Lisa de Ribere. Just had one of her choreographic pieces set on the company. It is beatuiful! I am looking into another one for next year!

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It wasn't Bronia who did the whitewashing of the situation with Nijinsky, it was Romola, whose biography glossed over a lot, and Kyra, who published a highly expurgated version of his diaries after his death.

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