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Sacramento Ballet Ties New York City as a Leader in Works by Women

female choreographers
Shania Rasmussen in Amy Seiwert’s "Requiem."

The Sacramento Ballet‘s upcoming season — the second under artistic director Amy Seiwert — leads the nation in the percentage of its works by female choreographers, according to research published by the Dance Data Project.

According to DDP, which studies the operations of the nation’s top 50 dance companies, Sacramento Ballet moved up from fifth place in the 2018-2019 season study to being tied for first (with New York City’s American Ballet Theatre) in the 2019-2020 season. DDP reports that only 19 percent of the nation’s 467 productions are choreographed by women.

The increase in recognition of female choreographers is thanks to the Ballet’s new season, ‘Sights Unseen.’ This season’s programs will be 67 percent female-choreographed, compared to 47 percent in the 2018-2019 season. In addition, reports DDP, “there was one female-choreographed full-length world premiere in the 2018-2019 season: The Sacramento Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ by Seiwert.”

The new season begins next week (Oct.3) with a program titled ‘Mozart in Motion,’ which features three dances, one a world premiere and two widely acclaimed works by women. Sacramento native Jody Gates choreographed the first dance, “Embellish,” which the New York Times called “fluent and theatrically savvy.” The second, the Ballet’s Seiwert choreographed– “Requiem,” which is an interpretation of Mozart’s famous unfinished composition of the same name.

Finally, the program will feature a world premiere by Darrell Grand Moultrie. The acclaimed choreographer has worked for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Beyoncé, among others. This will be the third dance he has created with the Sacramento Ballet.

‘Mozart in Motion’ will be performed at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. next Sunday at The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts, 2700 Capitol Avenue. Tickets are $65.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit to SacBallet.org.

Photo by Keith Sutter

About the author

Jim Carnes

Jim Carnes has masters degrees in English and journalism and is a former National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in popular culture at Stanford University. He has covered Sacramento arts and entertainment for more than 20 years. He currently writes about and reviews theater, dance, music and events in the Sacramento area.

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