Wednesday 2 January 2013

On the 9th Gay Day of Christmas ...

… my blogger gave to me ..


In the traditional sequence of gifts from the medieval period the dancing ladies arrived on the 11th day of Christmas, and that was the version I was taught at school. However, the modern version moves the ladies to the 9th day today, so here they are.

At first I couldn’t think of many lesbian or female bisexual dancers, certainly not as many at 9. So it was back to the books and read up on an area of the performing arts I have to admit I know little about.

I hope that the dancers I’ve chosen offer an insight into the important contribution female choreographers and dancers have made, and continue to make.

Quite often the earliest female dancers courted controversy, for no other reason than by dancing in skimpy costumes when just the sight of a lady’s ankle was risqué. Many contemporary female dancers have continued to push boundaries, including some of those listed here.

1) MAUD ALLEN (1873-1956)
Maud became famous, even notorious, for her “Vision of Salome”, a dance version of the work by Oscar Wilde.

2) ISADORA DUNCAN (1878-1927)
Isadora’s barefoot dancing in long flowing tunics was a deliberate attempt to move away from the more rigid style and look of traditional ballet.

3) ANITA BERBER (1899-1928)
Anita’s use of eroticism, exotic costume and sometimes macabre imagery in her dances is often regarded as the pre-cursor of modern performance art.

Founder and artistic director of ABD Productions in 1984. Basing her works on feminist concepts and social issues, Anne’s company has won many awards.

5) KRISSY KEEFER (b.1953)
Co-founder in 1984 and artistic director of San Francisco’s Dance Brigade. Her most successful work has been “The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie”.

Founder and artistic director of iLAND, a research organisation investigating the power of dance. Professor of dance at the University of Illinois.

Founded the Purple Moon Dance Project in San Francisco in 1992 to promote lesbian and ethnic female dance.

Anne described herself as “ a choreographer/art administrator turned urban planner”.

Contestant on the US tv series “So You Think You Can Dance?”. She was criticised by some for NOT coming out on the show.

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