In the busy preparations for the upcoming season, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Ruth Brill discusses her future as a female choreographer in a male-dominated industry.
‘I’ve created a few pieces for the Company now, but at the moment I’m working on a one-act ballet called Arcadia, which will be performed both on the midscale tour and on the main stage at Birmingham Hippodrome in spring 2017.
‘I’m very lucky to be working within a large organisation and to have been given support and opportunities to pursue my choreography. It’s a fact that at the top of our industry there aren’t as many women as men.’
Knowing that the average ballerina will retire by their late-30s, a dancer has very particular constraints to consider when developing her career.
‘It may be that this is a safe place for me as a dancer at the moment. In the future, perhaps as a freelance choreographer, I may be more exposed to uncertainty and it may be more of a struggle. I’m in the second half of my career as a dancer now. I’ve always felt that if you have the opportunity to progress in other areas, you have to take them.
‘I’m also very aware of the potential difficulties when transitioning from dancer to choreographer. For women, this may coincide with starting a family. However, if a woman has the talent, vision, creativity, strength and commitment to choreograph, then she should be given equal opportunities.'