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ABT vs. NYCB-the stats

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I'm not sure where to post this, but since it's about dancers, I'm putting it up here. This came about after seeing both ABT and NYCB in one day and wondering about the experience and male/female ratio in each company.

Debate, conversation etc. welcomed on the relevance (if any) of this info

** ABT has 79 dancers and 7 apprentices, though 1 dancer is retiring and one is guest principal for this season only. NYCB has 88 dancers and 7 apprentices, with two corps members that have left and not been replaced as of yet.

** ABT is 45.6% male, with 43 women and 36 men, while NYCB is 44.3% male with 49 women and 39 men.

** However, NYCB's male corps is much more experienced with 50% of the men having joined prior to 1999, while only 36% of ABT's male corps have that much seniority. The NYCB female corps is also more experienced with 56% of the women having joined prior to 1999, compared to only 36% at NYCB.

** The experience of the soloists at each company is about equal, with one soloist a piece being hired as a soloist.

** I did not do a comparision of the principal dancers because only nine of the 17 principal dancers at ABT were promoted from the ranks. Only two current NYCB principals joined as a principals (LaFosse and Hubbe). Woetzel was a principal at the LA Ballet, but came through SAB and the NYCB ranks and Askegard joined as a soloist.

** Also, of the current NYCB dancers, I think that only five (Robertson, Ritter, Hubbe, LaFosse and Hofmans) did not come to NYCB via SAB.

** The Count



28 Women--10 pre 1999, 18 1999-2002 (8-99, 5-00, 4-01, 1-02)

22 Men--8 pre 1999, 14 1999-2002 (3-99, 4-00, 5-01, 2-02)


34 Women--19 pre-1999, 15 1999-2002 (3-99, 7-00, 5-01, 0-02)

20 Men--10 pre 1999, 10 1999-2002 (2-99, 5-00, 2-01, 1-02)


ABT-7 women

NYCB-6 women, 1 man



7 women

5 men


6 women

10 men


ABT:17-8 women, 9 men

-includes Acosta, a guest principal for 2002 Met Season and Jaffe who is retiring this month

-Bocca, Ferri, Malakhov & Ananiashvili are members/directors of other companies

-Corella, Stiefel, and McKerrow are also permanent guest dancers elsewhere

NYC:18 -9 women, 9 men

-not including Alexopoulos

-includes LaFosse who does not dance often, and does mainly character roles

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Yes, thank you Kate! What a lot of work you did! Do you have any "stats" on the number of female dancers who did not come to NYCB through SAB? Always interested to learn where dancers from either of these companies spring from.:)

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Thanks Kate, this is interesting! It'd be interested to compare with other big companies.

And do you know some some statistics about the average age of dancers in each company, for example?

I don't have the figures at hand for the POB, but the corps de ballet is quite larger, and I think a larger proportion of the company has been there since 1999 (actually many of the sujets were already there in 1990...)

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In case someone is interested in similar statistics about the POB (there are five categories in the corps de ballet, so it's a bit more complicated). There is a total of 153 dancers now.

-10 principals

4 women

who joined the company in 1979 (Maurin), 1987 (Letestu), 1989 (Dupont), 1993 (Pujol)

6 men

who joined the company in 1979 (Hilaire), 1988 (Belarbi, Legris)), 1988 (Bart, Le Riche, Martinez)

all of them spent some time at the POB school, but Pujol studied mostly at the Besso dance academy in Toulouse, and Martinez and Rosella Hightower's school in Cannes, both spent only one year at the POB school after winning the prix de Lausanne

-14 premiers danseurs

8 women (joined the company in 1979, 1981, 1984, 1988 (2), 1990, 1991, 1996)

6 men (joined the company in 1979, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994)

As far as I know, all of them were mostly POB trained, except Clairemarie Osta who studied mostly at the Paris Conservatoire.

-41 sujets

22 women (joined the company in 1981, 1983, 1984 (2), 1985 (4), 1986 (5), 1989, 1990, 1991 (2), 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998)

all of them POB trained except, it seems, Muriel Halle and Cecile Sciaux

19 men (joined the company in 1974, 1976 (2),

1979, 1984 (2), 1986 (3), 1988, 1989, 1990 (2),

1992 (2), 1993, 1995(2), 1998)

all of them POB trained except perhaps Laurent Queval (in the company since 1974- the most senior dancer of the company, and still very active in character roles!) but I'm not sure, Herve Dirmann (1976), and Alessio Carbone (1998).

-33 coryphees

18 women (since 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987 (2), 1989, 1991(3), 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 (2), 2000, and for one I don't know but it must be after 1997)

all of the POB trained except perhaps Florence Branca (1982) and Karine Villagrassa.

15 men (since 1978, 1981 (2), 1983, 1985, 1988,

1990, 1991, 1994, 1996 (2), 1997 (2), 1998)

all of them POB trained

-53 quadrilles

31 women (since 1977, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989 (2), 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 (4), 1998 (6), 1999 (3), 2000 (3), 2001 (3), plus one that I don't know but it's probably 2000 or 2001)

22 men (since 1985, 1989 (2), 1990, 1993 (2), 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 (2), 2000 (3), 2001 (4) plus three others I don't know)

all of them POB trained except Francisco Vantaggio, Simone Valastro (both from Italy) and Yong-Geol Kim (from Korea).

-some apprentices and "surnuméraires" (dancers with temporary contracts) but I don't know how many.

Having careers of more than 20 years isn't especially rare at the POB. On the whole, careers seem to be longer than at ABT and NYCB (even though some of the dancers who are listed don't dance much in fact), and slower.

When searching for those figures, I noticed that there were some exceptional years for the school, like 1979 (the 8 dancers they hired were Pietragalla, Maurin, Arbo, Hilaire (principals), Averty, Romoli, Vu-An (premiers danseurs), and Darde (sujet)) or 1988-89 (it included Martinez, Bart, Dupont, Le Riche, Osta, Bridard, Duquenne, Baey, Phavorin...)

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Thank you to both Kate and Estelle, this makes interesting reading!

Estelle, my memory may be fooling me, but I think that Branca is mentioned in the the POB documentary from '80, Reflets sur la danse along with Guillem, Pietragalla, Rique and others.

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Leigh, thanks for the information!

Actually the information I have is not exhaustive: there is a list of the POB graduates who entered the company since 1975 in one of the school program's brochure, and I also have some partial biographies of dancers... Branca isn't in the list, but perhaps it is just a mistake. Also, some dates are a bit misleading because there are a few dancers who first became "surnuméraires", and then became full company members only some time later, and the listed date is the second one.

When comparing the figures, it seems that the average stay in the company (and probably also the average age) is much higher for the POB than for NYCB and for ABT. Some senior POB dancers aren't very present, either because of injuries, or for some female dancers because of pregnancies (there are some female sujets with 2 or 3 children), but on the whole most are active. And for example in the recent performance of "Violin Concerto" that I saw, the 8 female corps de ballet dancers had entered the company before 1996, and 5 of them before 1988. Probably it has an influence on the style of the corps de ballet, as they are used so much to dancing together (for example, among the sujets Sciaux, Kudo, Martel, Talon, Wiart and Ziegler all had entered the company in 1986, so it means that they've been dancing together for 16 years, plus some more years in the school). On the other hand, as the retirement rate is low, there are not many opportunities to go up in the hierarchy...

It'd be interested to have similar figures for companies like the Royal Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Kirov, the Bolshoi, etc.

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I missed this one -- it was posted when I was in NY without internet access. Thank you, Kate! What interesting info. And thanks also, Estelle.

I'd love to see stats on the Kirov and the Bolshoi -- there are so many dancers, and the two companies often split up into mini-companies (which are still big!) for touring. The Royal Danes are experiencing some turnover now, so it might be more interesting to check them at the beginning of next season. The big news for the past few seasons has been that the non-Danes in the company are now half the company. We won't know whether that will remain the same for a few months.

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