New report highlights gender inequality in dance sector

Introducing quotas, improving access to childcare, and stronger mentoring opportunities are among the many recommendations of the independent report, Turning Pointe: Gender Equality in Australian Dance.

Lilian Steiner and Melanie Lane in Lucy Guerin Inc’s Split. Image by Gregory Lorenzutti

Full-length works by female choreographers make up only 13% of programming by Major Performing Arts (MPA) dance companies, while only 26% of newly commissioned works presented by MPA dance companies are created by women. In the past 12 years, the five MPA dance companies – The Australian Ballet, WA Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Bangarra and Sydney Dance Company – have had exclusively male Artistic Directors. 

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts