ChoreograpHER Initiative launched in Boston

Boston Ballet Initiative for Female ChoreographersBoston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen recently announced the ChoreograpHER Initiative, a multi-year commitment in support of emerging female choreographers from within the company and beyond.


Boston Ballet’s ChoreograpHER Initiative establishes a model for female dance students and professional dancers to develop choreographic skills and invests in new, innovative works by female artists. It has three main pillars:


Firstly, in the classroom: Boston Ballet School will offer the Choreographic Project, a series of choreographic workshops targeting Boston Ballet female dance students for an opportunity to create, rehearse and present a piece of choreography with their peers, currently scheduled in 2019, 2021 and 2023.


Secondly, in the studio: Scheduled annually through 2020, Boston Ballet will present BB@home: ChoreograpHER, a program dedicated to amplifying the voices of emerging female choreographers.


Thirdly, on stage: Nissinen is planning a program dedicated to female artists in creative fields including choreography, music, design and visual art for the 2020–2021 season as part of a larger commitment to presenting works by female choreographers on the main stage at the Boston Opera House.


“As artistic director, one of my greatest joys and responsibilities is to share new choreographic perspectives with audiences. The ChoreograpHER Initiative is uniquely designed to create space for the next generation of female choreographers to explore, create, grow and share their talents with the world,” said Nissinen.


Nissinen made the announcement during the first of two sold-out performances of BB@home: ChoreograpHER, a program featuring six original works by female choreographers from Boston Ballet dancers, including Principal Dancer Lia Cirio, Second Soloist Hannah Bettes, and Artists Jessica Burrows, Lauren Flower, Sage Humphries and Haley Schwan at Boston Ballet’s South End headquarters, at 19 Clarendon Street.


“Women choreographers have been underrepresented in the ballet world,” said Executive Director Meredith “Max” Hodges. “It’s our goal to change that. Through Boston Ballet’s ChoreograpHER Initiative, we will support women’s vision and leadership in art-making. We are excited to encourage emerging choreographic talent in our students and our company members, and continue bringing new art and new perspectives to Boston audiences and the broader dance world.” 


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Photo: Recent BB@home “ChoreograpHERs” Hannah Bettes, Haley Schwan, Lauren Flower, Jessica Burrows, Lia Cirio and Sage Humphries. Photo by Liza Voll, courtesy of Boston Ballet.