The Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project (RIWCP) has a core mission to nurture, elevate, and empower artists whose voices are not traditionally heard. The Project serves any choreographer who feels underrepresented regardless of their gender identity.
In 2018, dancers Hannah Klinkman and Louisa Mejeur started the Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project (RIWCP) with the help of an anonymous donor and studio sponsorship from Festival Ballet Providence. The first year gave eight women from around the state the chance to choreograph a dance work. For some of them, it was the first time they had ever had the chance to choreograph.
In its second year, RIWCP served twelve female-identifying choreographers and over thirty dancers under Kristy DuBois, Melissa Wong, and Eugenia Zinovieva. The event included dancers from Festival Ballet, Island Moving Company, North Atlantic Dance Theatre, and multiple local freelance artists, selling out a weekend of performances at the AS220 Blackbox.
The COVID-19 pandemic stopped plans for a 2020 project short. RIWCP took a year to evaluate its goals and build a plan for the future. In 2021, we presented a virtual program, in which six women choreographers from all over the country presented new works as dance films. This was also the inaugural year of the RIWCP mentorship program, providing the dance creators with an additional resource to deepen their creative process.
RIWCP 2022 marked the organization's first season as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, with live works presented at the Festival Ballet Providence Black Box Theatre to enthusiastic audiences. Now celebrating its 5th anniversary season, RIWCP continues to champion underrepresented voices in the dance community.
Last season, out of the 553 works programmed by the Largest 50 (U.S. based ballet and classically influenced companies):
76% were choreographed by men
20% were choreographed by women
2% were choreographed by other/mixed gender
2% were choreographed by choreographers whose gender is unknown
Guidance and support can have a profound impact on an artist's journey. We are proud to offer a mentorship program tailored specifically to the needs of emerging choreographers. Through this initiative, we connect our artists with seasoned mentors who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. These inspiring women challenge and encourage our artists to explore new territories and think critically about their work.
Access to performance opportunities is essential for choreographers seeking to make their mark. RIWCP is committed to facilitating opportunities at dance festivals around New England in addition to the public performances that we hold every year in Providence, RI. These collaborations provide increased exposure for the artists, encourage new connections, and help us foster a vibrant dance community in Rhode Island and beyond.