Tuesday, August 7, 2007

On Her Toes

Posted on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Sunday's New York Times featured an article about the paucity of female directors of major ballet companies. One of the exceptions the article cites is Memphis Ballet's Dorothy Pugh.

From the story: "None of America’s most prominent ballet companies are run by women. According to a study by Dance/USA’s director of research and information, John Munger, in 2002 86 percent of the country’s 43 ballet companies with budgets of $2 million or more were run by men, while 5 percent were led by a male-female directorship."

Some of those interviewed for the story said part of the issue is that gender roles remain stubbornly stuck in ballet.

"As Dorothy Gunther Pugh, founder of Ballet Memphis, put it, 'Is it fabulous, or is it not, that women get picked up and supported and lifted all the time in classical ballet?' Ms. Pugh said placing ballerinas on a pedestal can be a way to remove them from the stuff of daily life because they can’t handle it: 'Let’s leave that to the men to do the heavy lifting and the hard work. In other words, it’s the men who are really setting the course of action.'"

Read the story here.

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