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I loved this story from his memoir where Ted Shawn writes about getting ready for a performance in which he played Pan.

"I labored over the rest of my costume, designing footgear that looked like hoofs, and sewing black worsted into tights to give the effect of shaggy furred legs. On dress rehearsal night, I decided that the tights of Pan joined my bare torso with an unaesthetic line, and asked one of the dancers to get me fresh leaves from the woods behind the theater. He dashed back to my dressing room with vines that I quickly wound around my middle to conceal the obvious string top of tights. Carried away by the sylvan effect, I even draped some of the leaves over the tops of my ears. The Pan costume was strikingly realistic with the touches of greenery which, unfortunately, no one backstage recognized as poison ivy."

from page 147 from One Thousand and One Night Stands by Ted Shawn.

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Ted Shawn lived from 1891 to 1972 and Karsavina lived from 1885 to 1978 so I found it interesting to juxtapose the two.

The aspects that I valued reading about were:

The serious prejudice Shawn had to deal with as a male dancer.

The fear of the sexuality of dance which was strong enough in some communities to stop or censor performances.

The physical life of a dancer on tour.

Frances B. Wright begins a review of the book by saying, "Shawn's book contains a considerable amount of contemporary dance history. Arrogant as he may seem, Shawn is unquestionably a part of that history and as such must be granted a hearing." Ethnomusicology, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Sep., 1961), pp. 241-242

Shawn didn't strike me as arrogant -- just passionate. And he has a nice sense of humor, dirac, which comes out in the writing.

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