“Not Another Ballet Story” to premiere at the Oscar-Qualifying 2023 American Documentary
and Animation Film Festival (AmDocs) in Palm Springs on Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 P.M.
Palm Springs, CA
Marginal Gap Films, the production company of independent filmmaker Emily Packer, is pleased to announce the premiere of short documentary film “Not Another Ballet Story” at the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival (AmDocs) in Palm Springs, Calif. on April 1, 2023.
“Not Another Ballet Story” showcases a feminist perspective on the future of dance – an industry in which authorship and accolades have historically been handed to the male minority – and advances conversations about diversity, art, and equity in this art form. The documentary features Smuin Contemporary Ballet, a dance company in San Francisco, where dancers have a unique opportunity to write the future of ballet, free from the ballet world’s entrenched ‘story ballet’ tradition. This is made possible by Celia Fushille, one of the few female artistic directors in the history of ballet. In the film, director and producer Emily Packer and director of photography Ben Still are allowed into intimate dance rehearsals where young dancers navigate their way through their first choreographies created for the main stage.
“The film focuses on the change-makers who are breaking down ancient barriers in ballet at a systemic level and the craftswomen who are bringing new movements and new stories to the stage,” said Emily Packer, “Not Another Ballet Story” director and producer. “ ‘Not Another Ballet Story’ posits a new bevy of dance works when women are encouraged to step to the front of the room and create new movement outside of the misogynistic ‘story ballet’ tradition.”
(Emily Packer, director/producer, “Not Another Ballet Story”)
“Not Another Ballet Story” Examines Gender Equity
“Not Another Ballet Story” embraces the importance of empowering women to assume leadership roles in a world traditionally dominated by male choreographers. Ballet is notoriously seen as a female dominated career, yet women lack proper representation and have been underrepresented in higher ranking positions within the ballet community, especially in choreographer and artistic director roles.
The Dance Data Project (DDP) examined the gender distribution of choreographers at 150 of the largest ballet and classically influenced companies in the country. The DDP’s “First Look Report 2022 – 2023” (full report available here) found that during the 2022 – 2023 season, only 27% of all works were choreographed by women, a decrease from 29% during the 2021 – 2022 season. The report also found that only 21% of full-length works were choreographed by women at the largest 150 companies. There were no full-length works choreographed by women at the largest 10 companies – all full-length, main stage works were by men.
“‘Not Another Ballet Story’ is about a female artistic director who is flipping the script to give women from her dance company opportunities to step to the front of the room to choreograph, create, and lead. The film showcases how this female artistic director is helping write the future of ballet by breaking down barriers and giving roles to female dancers that have traditionally been out of their reach,” said Cynthia Wuthmann, “Not Another Ballet Story” executive producer. “We are thrilled to premiere this important film at an Oscar-qualifying film festival alongside other feminist films. Our goal is ‘impact distribution’ where we present the film at ballet schools and conservatories, humanities departments at universities, dance-related conferences, and advocacy groups to lead and facilitate conversations that will enable more women to attain ballet careers in artistic leadership and choreography on main stages.”
AmDocs Screening of “Not Another Ballet Story”:
Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.
Camelot Theatres (Palm Springs Cultural Center)
2300 East Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262