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romantic pas de deux for same-sex couples


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#31 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 10:18 AM

Are we talking about romantic, or sexual? (The Agon pas de deux is sexual but not romantic, for example.)

#32 carbro

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 02:40 PM

And isn't that (ideally) the paradox in Bugaku?

#33 Alexandra

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 02:57 PM

Back to romantic/sexual pas de deux for same sex couples, someone suggested Bintley's Edward II -- if not a model, it certainly is about a homosexual relationship.

Eifman springs to mind, too.

#34 Manhattnik

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 04:36 PM

Of course the most poignant moments between Edward and his lover came when the latter was reduced to a head inside a bloody bag....

Am I the only reader of this thread to whom the memory of Arpino's The Relativity of Icarus springs, unbidden? I remember Arpino saying quite emphatically that it had no nudge-nudge, wink-wink, know-what-I-mean? gay subtext. Perhaps there were even viewers who actually believed him.

#35 mbjerk

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 04:40 PM

Yes, I remember Icarus with Ted Nelson as the father and Russell Sultzbach (and his red hair) as the son with Ann Marie De Angelo as the sun???? But as I was young, all I focused on was Ann Marie's tricks and the fact the Ted lifted Russell all over the place - I guess the places were what I was supposed to focus on.

#36 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 05:07 PM

I think of another Icarus number in this context. John Butler once did such a piece for John Curry's Theatre of Skating back in the late seventies. (Okay, it's not ballet, but Curry's original ambition was to be a ballet dancer and I think we can award him honorary status.) Many years ago I saw some pirated footage of a part of it. Basically, Curry, wearing shorts and a sports-bra type thingie, floated around the ice, and then Daedalus came out on the ice for a pas de deux, and eventually Curry melted down, and while I have no idea if this was intentional or not, even to my very young eyes the homoerotic flavor was rather plain. (Keith Money photographed the piece for his book, so there are some evocative pictures extant.)


I don't mean to make fun of it, by the way. It was nervy of Curry to try such a thing, he got booed for it in Bristol, and no other skater in the world would have dreamed of doing it. As a teenager I was rather taken aback, though. Toto, I don't think we're in Ice Capades any more………….

#37 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 05:15 PM

I think I recalled "Icarus" awhile back, I just messed up the title, confusing it with the "Orpheus" ballet which followed it. But we shouldn't forget the unusual mirrored set when we consider the former work. It was practically all of mirrored surfaces, so looking became a tactical decision!

#38 Manhattnik

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 07:39 PM

And let's not forget Songs of a Wayfarer. Or Bejart's rescension of Gaite Parisienne, with its male/male love story. Or remember how sometimes Bejart would have a woman (Farrell on one NYC visit I recall) dance the lead in his Bolero for a male audience, and sometimes a man (Donn) dance for a female audience, and then for a male audience. And this was years before Mark Morris, who obviously stole all of Bejart's good ideas (well, both of them) when he took over Bejart's theater....

It's a good thing I'm about to fall asleep or I'd start casting the male/male versions of all the classic old chestnuts, although I do think Adam Luders would've been a great Giselle.

#39 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 08:19 PM

Paul's earlier comment

it would be great if they seemed to be representative people recognizably in love and not necessarily doomed

seems apropos here regarding Eifman and Bintley's work with homosexuality to date.

#40 grace

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Posted 07 December 2002 - 03:06 AM

Manhattnik: "I'd start casting the male/male versions of all the classic old chestnuts"...

- let's DO it!

and about bolero (bejart's): i never even thought of the fact, before now, that he never offered a female object of desire for a female 'audience' - or did he?

#41 atm711

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Posted 07 December 2002 - 12:05 PM

I am not so sure about Paul Parish's 'shimmer of ecstacy' in Swan Lake. In the Supplement to Beaumont's Complete Book of Ballets he says the following about petits battements (and other things) in Swan Lake:

"The small circular movement of the head used by birds to preen their neck and breast feathers; the use of the arms curved to the sides like folded wings; the arms outstretched and fluttering like wings; THE USE OF PETITS BATTEMENTS TO SUGGEST THE TREMBLING OF A WING-TIP OR THE FREEING OF A LEG FROM TINY DROPS OF WATER; are all adaptations of bird behavior."

I wonder what old C.W. would have made of all this.

#42 Alexandra

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Posted 07 December 2002 - 12:09 PM

Good question, atm. Poor CW. He spent his life trying to write the ballets down, assuming that future generations would want to stage the work, not "ballet using the music and names of the characters from Swan Lake No. 503."

#43 Hans

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 09:57 AM

There is a male-male pas de deux in Bejart's Firebird, with an unusual 'flying' pose at the end that I guess could be read as a metaphor, if you want to go there. I think the choreography of that pas de deux is an excellent onstage 'bird' representation, definitely more convincing than Balanchine's generic lady in a red tutu.

These days, Bolero is always performed with a male corps and either a male or female soloist...I don't know if it was ever done using only women, but that would be interesting to find out. Perhaps one of my friends would know.

Also from the Bejart repertoire is a pas de deux of two men in a work I forget the name of, but I think it's to a tango, and appears to be more about 'blood brothers' than sexuality, though it is an intense piece.

On a more classical note, Laurencia includes...not really a pas de deux, but a dance for two men. However, they don't even look at each other, so maybe they're clones. The Ocean and Pearls Pas de Trois from The Little Humpbacked Horse has a cute female duet as well, but again, it's more like sisters or playmates.

#44 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 04:07 PM

Remember that the working concept of Bejart's "Firebird" was the Maqui of WWII - the French Underground against the Nazis, particularly the saboteur arm of that organization. The "flying" metaphor could stand for a lot of stuff.

#45 dirac

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 03:54 PM

A ballet with a military theme might be ideally suited to our purpose. An enterprising choreographer might even be able to insert a short-arm inspection. :)


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