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The Norwegian National Ballet CHOREOGRAPHY: Artemisia

In 2019, the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Norsk Tipping and Talent Norge launched a joint choreography initiative aimed at offering aspiring choreographers equal opportunities regardless of gender and ensuring that we leave behind new classics that can be added to the repertoire.

“In ballet, one of the world’s most female-dominated activities, the stories that are told are largely created by men. And that is a paradox,” said Ingrid Lorentzen to Talent Norge when we launched the choreography initiative, only months before the pandemic hit.

Norwegian National Ballet CHOREOGRAPHY: Artemisia aims to lead the way in the international ballet world and give audiences a diverse range of stories created by and about both men and women. We want to promote new voices and new narratives. 

When Ingrid Lorentzen first became artistic director of the National Ballet, none of the works created for the Main Stage at the Oslo Opera House were by female choreographers. Since the initiative was launched, female choreographers have created 26 new works, of which 6 are for the Main Stage.

Three levels

Change requires efforts on different levels. We need to: 

  1. Find and support new talents.
  2. Help develop talented choreographers by ensuring that they receive repeated opportunities to work. 
  3. Take the best out into the world and present their work internationally. 

Each of these three levels requires different measures. These measures are based on the factors that define the careers of most of the leading choreographers in the world today: repeated opportunities to work, the opportunity to create works for major performance spaces and international experience. In combination, these measures will provide choreographers with experience, skills and prestige. 

We are pleased and proud that – in spite of the pandemic – the choreography initiative has already contributed to various concrete productions and results. It has shown that it is possible to change structures and cultural heritage to ensure that the gender perspective prevails – with a comprehensive initiative and by providing choreographers access to resources. So far, the initiative has exceeded all of the goals we initially set and its success is clearly the result of the fact that it permeates all activities of the Norwegian National Ballet, from planning to premiere. 

When Norwegian National Ballet CHOREOGRAPHY: Artemisia is being extended from 2023–25, so that it can continue to work to achieve a better gender balance, develop new classics and offer different and new voices from groups that have been underrepresented in the repertoire. In the years ahead, audiences will have the opportunity to see works by, for example, Sámi choreographers.

Marit Moum Aune is affiliated with the initiative as theatre director and has served as a mentor for young talents in the Workshop Company, a development and presentation arena, in addition to creating her own work.

Norwegian National Ballet CHOREOGRAPHY: Artemisia is part of Talent Norge and Norsk Tipping’s focus on female talent. 

Do you have any questions about Norwegian National Ballet CHOREOGRAPHY: Artemisia? Contact Project Manager Sarah da Fonseca at