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New member (hello!)George Platt Lynes photographs of "Filling Station"


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#1 eekmholt

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:08 PM

I am a PhD candidate in History of Art and Architecture at University of California, Santa Barbara. My dissertation is on the ballet "Filling Station" and gay male audiences. What got me onto this subject were photographs by George Platt Lynes of Jacques d'Amboise as Mac, nude under his Paul Cadmus designed see-through costume. My argument is that the original (1938) production is "coded," in that gay male audiences can read the ballet as gay, and I use the GPL photo of Jd'A to support my argument. If anyone has leads on any aspects involving this topic, i am most eager to hear from you. Thank you!. 



#2 carbro

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:33 PM

Welcome to BalletAlert!, eekmholt.  That is surely an intriguing theory, and one that illustrates how much our culture has changed in the past 75 years (is my math right?)  I wouldn't be surprised if some of our members give you good leads.



#3 Birdsall

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:31 AM

I will have to rewatch Filling Station on the Jacques d'Amboise dvd I have to see if I "get" the gay theme. I did not get that the one time I watched the video, and I am gay, but I think the costume in the video is not see through, so curious about the pics you mention from the original (I am sure they had to change it for the tv audience). I am not saying you are wrong at all, but I have always been oblivious. My gaydar is totally off and can rarely tell when someone is gay or straight. I do think in previous times when things were hidden people searched for signs (to find others like them) so they were more alert, and you could have a good theory. Nowadays there is no need to hide and it is very easy to meet others like yourself (apps like Grindr on your phone, etc.).....



#4 Birdsall

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:31 AM

Welcome, by the way! Forgot to say that! LOL 



#5 kfw

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:48 AM

Welcome, eekmholt! Are you thinking of GPL's photos of Lew Christenson in Filling Station? That costume is indeed transparent, although in the photos lighting the transparency is mostly in the torso. You can find a Ballet Alert! discussion of the costuming for Filling station here.



#6 rg

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 05:27 AM

to be clear here, while GPL's studio photo of d'Amboise in his transparent coveralls has the dancer nude, this was not done on stage. Lew Christensen, the originator of the role of Mac in FILLING STATION, is pictured for publicity purposes for the ballet, as opposed to the gallery art purposes of GPL's photography, in his dance belt, thus a nude-look but not nudity.

Cadmus was well known for his homoerotic pictures such as THE FLEET'S IN with randy sailors and floozies, which is but one example.

there is likely a certain amount written about all this in memoirs, etc. of Lynes, Cadmus, Kirstein, etc.



#7 Helene

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

to be clear here, while GPL's studio photo of d'Amboise in his transparent coveralls has the dancer nude, this was not done on stage.


It would have been impractical if it had been.


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