You've all heard of world-renowned male dance choreographers like Wayne McGregor and Akram Khan, but could you name some of the top female dance choreographers? We're here to celebrate the choreographic talents of all genders, so it's time to do a shout-out for the ladies. We recognise that there is a huge stigma in the dance industry about the gender split where it's common that there are mostly female dancers on stage whilst it's male talent that choreographs the show, but that's not always the case. Choreographers and commissioned works are determined by the skill of the artist, not their gender. Keep reading to learn something new today about female choreographers.
The Royal Ballet pioneered to put female choreographers in the limelight and their triple bill She Persisted - featuring the works of the first two female choreographers on our below list - premiered this April 2019. It was commissioned by Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo, who of course is another strong lady who believes in equality of expression on-stage. Continuing this theme of threes, American Ballet Theatre launched their "Women's Movement" almost a year to the date, which consists of them hiring at least three female choreographers each season.
1) Pina Bausch
Pina Bausch led Tanztheater Wuppertal to receive international recognition under her infuence, resulting in many accelaides for Bausch along with the Company, such as the New York Bessie Award in 1984, the German Dance Prize in 1995 and the Berlin Theatre Prize in 1997.
2) Annabelle Lopez
Inspired by the life and art of Frida Kahlo, Lopez's work Broken Wings premiered at Sadler's Wells in 2016 and has now blossomed to be part of the triple bill highlighting female skill with The Royal Ballet. Her professional ballet background is to be championed along with her incredible choreographic talent.
3) Crystal Pite
Currently focused on the political plights, Pite made her debut at the Royal Ballet with her work Flight Pattern. Her choreographic background is strongly rooted in ballet, which has led to her dance expertise creating beautiful and thought-provoking works for world-renowned ballet companies like Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater I, Cullberg Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada.
4) Martha Graham
A leader in contemporary dance, Martha Graham is ingrained within our global shared dance history. Graham created over 180 works during her career as a choreography and The Martha Graham Dance Company since continues to progress her ingenuity in the contemporary dance world, continuing to teach meaingful methods like The Graham Technique that portray true emotion as opposed to merely a spectacle on stage.
5) Mina Myoung
Mina Myoung's choreography belongs to a different dance style to the rest of the women on our female choreographers list, but she's uber modern and fresh right now so we're sure you've heard of her. Myoung is best known for her association with the world famous South Korean dance school 1MILLION Dance Studio, but her works have certainly travelled the world both physically and virtually through many a choreographed music video.
6) Dame Gillian Barbara Lynne
Lynne is known for how she transformed musical theatre for the better. Her greatest choreographic contributions are thought of as her work on Cats. She's also known for incredible ballet dancing, which secured her roles in Sleeping Beauty and other performances by The Royal Ballet.
7) Arlene Phillips
Phillips' dance career spans from energetic routines inthe dance group Hot Topic in the 70's right through to Broadway. Her repertoire of choreographed pieces has taken Phillips mainly to the musical stages of West End and Broadway and more recenty to our TV screens as a dance show judge.
8) Twyla Tharp
Female dance choreographer Twyla Tharp is interested in a blend of styles, from traditional to modern, and has choreographed over 160 works thus far. You may be familiar with some of the pieces she's choreographed for The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet and The Martha Graham Dance Company. Her Tony Award and two Emmy Awards speaks loudly enough without even needing to witness her talents.
9) Aszure Barton
Her unique choreography is known for its unusual ways of expressing emotion through the body. She's collaborated with English National Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre and The Martha Graham Dance Company (just to name a few) and is the founder of Aszure Barton & Artists dance company.
10) Carolyn Carlson
A Californian-born choreographer, Carlson is the director of the Centre Chorégraphique National in Roubaix and of the Atelier de Paris at La Cartoucherie de Vincennes in Paris . We love that she's a believer in dance as a poetic form.