Admittedly, while eternally curious about why things are the way they are and how they become to be that way — in this specific case, the dearth of women choreographers in a profession marked by the rich pool of female talent — the Women Ballet Choreographer’s Residency Program, hosted by Kathryn Roszak, is not an event I would have volunteered to attend if my partner hadn’t been receiving an award.
No disrespect to the illuminati and glitterati present — accomplished artists such as Julia Adam, Amy Seiwert, Dalia Rawson, Myles Thacher among others — but it seems to me there are gaps in the roster, especially on the panel discussions about the current assessment and what can be done. For example, where are the female choreographers who have been successful in the major companies and venues of the world? And the people who present them.
Several of my favorite choreographers are women — they also happen to be highly in demand. Yet, on the other hand, several of my favorite female artists decidedly chose not to choreograph or to direct a troupe. Perhaps it is as much a case of choice as it is opportunity.
And it might be the awards to Celia Fushille and Lauren Jonas, artistic directors of Smuin Ballet and Diablo Ballet respectively, in recognition of their roles in encouraging women choreographers and leaders, represent part of the nascent steps to provide role models to young girls so they are better informed of their choices.
The afternoon also featured live and film excerpts from productions by Rawson, Adam, Seiwert, and others.