In a dance world where the words “female choreographers” and “lack of” are paired together more often than not (especially in the ballet realm), we can’t help but get excited when a promising opportunity comes along. This week, New York University’s fledgling Center for Ballet and the Arts announced an initiative that will attempt to bridge that gap.
The Center’s new Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship for Women Choreographers will provide three separate fellowships to female dancemakers, each lasting one semester, over the course of three years. And the perks are enticing: a stipend of $35,000, studio space, an office and access to nearby housing. But perhaps most valuable is the support of the Center’s rotating resident artists and scholars who represent a variety fields. Interested choreographers must submit a proposal for the work they’d like to pursue at the Center. Just imagine the cross-disciplinary conversations and subsequent inspiration—not to mention the choreography—that might arise, all from a central interest in ballet.