MADBOOTS DANCE is a company founded and led by two dancer-choreographers, Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz, who are also life partners.
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If life in the ballet company provides only a highly restricted space for gay identity, the real gay space takes place in the audience.
NAKED OR NUDE, the human body has been a source of creative inspiration in all forms of visual art and performance, from painting and sculpture to theater, film, performance and body art, digital art, and live political activism.
Having published a biography of Kirstein in 2007, Martin Duberman recently discovered a treasure trove of hitherto unseen letters and other personal writings that reveal much about Kirstein’s state of mind as he mingled with many of the leading choreographers, composers, writers, and artists of the Modernist era.
LINCOLN KIRSTEIN was born in 1907 to a newly prosperous Jewish couple—his father Louis had risen to a top executive post in Filene’s, the famed department store. As a young man, Kirstein was precocity personified.
BIOGRAPHER Judith Chazin-Bennahum, former ballet dancer and distinguished professor emerita of theatre and dance at the University of New Mexico, has taken on the task of recovering from obscurity the extraordinary life of René Blum (1878-1942). Youngest brother of Leon Blum, the first Jewish prime minister of France (1936-37), René devoted his life to the arts and ballet, and to the Ballets Russes above all.
THE RESTROOMS at Bulgaria’s National Palace of Culture had just one use—and it wasn’t to relieve oneself. So when the American teacher descended the stairs and was captured by a hushed voice, he knew full well what was going to happen. The young man was tall and thin with a “close-cropped military cut of hair so popular among young men … a hyper-masculine style” and he seemed a little bad-boy dangerous. He couldn’t speak English well and the American could only grasp a few words of Bulgarian …
Mitko was the man’s name …
IN APRIL 1962, Rudolf Nureyev was convicted under Soviet article N43 of treason against the state. Traitor number 50,888 was not present to defend himself against the charges, which had resulted from his dramatic defection to the West at Le Bourget airport, Paris, the year before.
Chance and Circumstance is a fascinating document of an American dance company and two gay artists and their times, each occupying a singular place in American culture. Brown doesn’t miss a beat or a gesture of the New York art world. She gives us the minutiae of squabbles, jealousies, and wardrobe malformations, along with the company’s triumphs and setbacks.
JOAN ACOCELLA writes beautifully on every topic she covers, and this collection of her biographical essays over the last two decades shimmers with droll observations, vivid images, and wise insights about important artists.