Sound familiar? It should; a number of us have been beating the drum for years over the failure of large musical organizations - symphony orchestras and big opera companies - to perform the works of female composers. It's great to see this examination of the same subject in the world of dance.
Deep in the article there's a quotation that really caught my eye:
But while the Royal Ballet has presented works by a number of female choreographers in recent years, they have tended to be done at its smaller Linbury Studio Theater, not on the main stage. The lack of women having their work performed has become a topic of conservation in London. Kevin O’Hare, the director of the Royal Ballet, said in an email that “commissions are about the right fit for the company, whether by male or female choreographers.”I'm very curious about this. If an organization commissions a musical work from a composer, the organization gets to specify quite a bit about that work, perhaps including the instrumentation, form, and length. The Kronos Quartet isn't going to commission a brass quintet, for example. Well, it might commission a work for string quartet plus brass, but you see my point, I'm sure.
So what exactly does Mr. O'Hare mean by "the right fit for the company"? One common reason for not hiring people is known to be "not a good cultural fit," which is rather loose and nonspecific and can cover a multitude of sins, excluding people are different but qualified from being hired for an open position. Without follow-up, we don't know what he meant, but I sure would like to know.