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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2000 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Good responses all but still... how to do I explain to others the artistic reasoning behind the nudity? Is it to shock? To titillate? And aren't there other ways of doing it?


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2000 5:44 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
The ancient Greeks had no problem with nudity in sports..........


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2000 11:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Azlan, do you feel that you have to justify nudity in fine art?


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2000 1:56 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
That's an interesting question, Stuart. <P>I think you do need to justify nudity, in the same way you need to justify why you use any element in a piece. In good work there are usually some answers. <P>If you end up wondering why <I>were</I> those dancers nude and you can't come up with any other reason than as a gratuitous display you can probably assume that the choreographer just likes to see people nude. There's nothing wrong with that, but there's the possibilty that people in the audience will not be as taken as the choreographer is with dancers in the buff.<P>Nudity can be a strong statement when used metaphorically: the body as a new beginning, innocence, raw sexuality, etc. Nudity like any element becomes boring when it's overused, or seems to have no basis in the work. <P>For example, the last piece I saw by Jose Navas had a lot of nudity (just upper bodies mind you). I was really not very interested, it all seemed somewhat gratuitous and not at all scintillating or titilating; whatever Navas was trying to get at, I couldn't tell. Even my boyfriend (who does not mind looking at women's breasts whatsoever) thought it was over done and passe.<P>The Vandekeybus piece I saw recently has a naked man in it but his nakedness metaphorically seperates him from the rest of the cast; he is man at the basest level, raw emotions displayed for all to see, not even clothes protect him from destructive forces.<P>In the past five years or so in Vancouver, Canada, there's been a lot of nudity on stage. What may have been initially shocking has lost most of its punch. <P>Nudity has its place but if it doesn't add to a work then what's the point?


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2000 11:31 pm 
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
XSIGHT! Performance Group (based in Chicago) performed "The Moment Bacchus Came" in Anchorage earlier this year. I'm really bad with keeping characters' names straight, but in the end a man who has been torn down from his metaphorical pedestal has his head ripped off by his mother. (Hope I'm not spoiling the ancient Greek myth's ending for anyone) <BR>He's dragged across the stage naked on a sheet of plastic (the backdrop all the way around was of Hefty bags), all curled up and bloody. Being naked was perfect because he'd essentially been reduced to meat.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2000 10:21 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Well, Priscilla, that kind of nudity is actually on the opposite scale. I find that very disturbing actually but I do see the artistic reason for that.<P>But just plain nudity for nudity's sake is what I question or rather am curious about. I agree with Marie in that if it doesn't shock anymore why do it? If it's so normal now, why bother? I'm not against it; I find myself unable to explain it to others. I just accept it.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2000 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: US
I still contest that outright nudity is not generally suitable for classical ballet. Classical ballet is about aesthetics and that includes beautiful costumes. Not the lack thereof.<P>I cannot conceive of nudity with elan.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2000 5:35 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Albrecht - I do agree with you for my own personal taste, I would not want to see ballet in the nude, either. But out of curiousity I looked up "elan" in both the Random House dictionary and the New Oxford Dictionary and they say:<P>It comes from the French word "elancer" - to dart and it is used to mean to dash, rush, "to dance with impetuous ardor". Which would not seem to preclude the ballet. <P>What say you?


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2000 5:58 pm 
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
"The Naked Nutcracker" might be a little much. But just typing that sentence in gets me immediately thinking "How could that possibly work?", which makes me laugh. A lot of the fun in creating dance is problem-solving - making something work.<P>So my first thought is that nudity and classical ballet just don't go together, and my second thought is how could they? The first thing for me to get past is the distraction of it all and the second is that it would then be just one more fun thing kids couldn't go to. At least not most of the ones I've known or been.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2000 6:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
At one performance of the Bolshoi's disasterous Las Vegas tour, a theatre official said (or something like), 'You know it is beautiful and if it could be performed naked I'm sure we could get an audience.'<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 16, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2000 7:35 am 
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Location: New York, NY, USA
Help! Can someone remember the name of a piece that was performed by Ballet Rambert circa 1970 in which all the dancers were nude? It caused quite a stir at the time. I seem to recall that the performers entered through the audience on ramps - causing ever greater stir. I must have been singularly unimpressed or am getting early-onset Alzheimers not to remember more...


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2000 6:41 am 
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Location: France
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR>testing testing 123


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2000 6:44 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
This is a test? I didn't know you had to pass a test for nudity - however, now that I know - the next number is, I think, 4 - Do I win a prize?


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2000 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Hmm, I'm surprised Stuart hasn't responded to this question yet. Maybe, he'll get to it when he wakes up. He must have had a busy weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 1:39 am 
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Posts: 774
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Just ran across this somewhat dated but energetically written and intelligent piece written by Jordan Marshall for the Anchorage Press (our free weekly):<BR> <A HREF="http://www.anchoragepress.com/document.cfm?id=425&type=collections&classification=Art%2FTheater" TARGET=_blank>http://www.anchoragepress.com/document.cfm?id=425&type<BR>=collections&classification=Art%2FTheater</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 11, 2000).]


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