In 2018, a few dancers from Festival Ballet Providence, along with a generous donation from an anonymous donor, started the Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project. The show gave eight women from around the state the chance to choreograph a dance work (some of them for the first time in their lives) in the context of a dance world that makes it difficult for female voices to be heard. The event raised almost $800 in proceeds for the Sojourner House of RI. The second year, RIWCP was expanded to include twelve women and over thirty dancers, and partnered with the Women’s Fund of RI. The event included dancers from Festival Ballet, Island Moving Company, North Atlantic Dance Theatre, and more, as well as multiple local freelance artists.
Now in its third year, RIWCP aims to continue uplifting female-identifying choreographers from around the area, and to allow them to experiment and develop their creative voices. We provide them with studio space and dancers, both of which are hard to come by for choreographers who are not yet well-established. Through providing a platform for women to grow and gain confidence in a male-dominated field, as well as partnering with local nonprofits in various sectors, we hope to help close the gender gap that exists not only in the dance world, but in many communities.