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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 3:39 pm 
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Posts: 90
Location: Reston,VA
Well, I wouldn't buy a ticket to a nude performance for the simple reason that I find 99 and 1/4% of folks look BETTER with their clothes ON than they do with them OFF, even if they look "ok" with them off.<P>But hey, I'm only "one ticket" out here.

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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2001 9:50 am 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Image <BR><font size=1><B>COURTESY OF DANIEL LEVEILLE DANSE / Dancers as seen from the back Jean-Francois Deziel, David Kilburn, Daniel Leveille, Ivana Millicevic and Dave Saint-Pierre.</B></font><P>From the Montreal Gazette, 02/17/01:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Why the clothing had to go</B><BR>Daniel Leveille felt only full nudity could convey the vulnerability of street kids in new work<P>Ever since the early 1900s, when Isadora Duncan, American mother of modern dance, first loosened her corset and tossed it and her shoes to the winds so she could breathe and move more freely, shedding one's clothes has been part of the dance scene. <P>Nudity is enjoying a wave of popularity with Montreal contemporary dance choreographers, although for years, performance in the buff was considered well past its heyday years ago, when, as American dance critic Marcia Siegel noted, it no longer aroused even the cops. Since September, the naked body has been exposed as playful and bacchic, aesthetic and titillating, and as a detached anatomical study.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><a href="http://www.montrealonline.com/performArts/pages/010217/5075770.html" target="blank"><B>more...</B></a><P><p>[This message has been edited by Marie (edited February 17, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2001 11:59 am 
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Posts: 241
I don't view nudity in dance as any different from nudity in painting. The well-sculpted naked human body, in particular, is a lovely sight. The choreography should suit the piece, though, and the nudity not be gratuitous. I particularly like MOMIX's "Passion" where the dancers are nude behind a scrim. It suits the particular dance- in a jungle if I remember correctly. And Pilobolus is famous for their body sculpting configurations, which, again, is very much like the artwork of, say, a Rodin. It most definitely has its place in dance.<p>[This message has been edited by JM (edited February 17, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2001 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 11
Location: Bristol, England
Like Trog, I didn't really notice the see-through top for the female dancer in the family group in Bintley's 'Still Life'; not until the curtain call where the lighting had a different effect. The costume fitted into the overall scenario, and this didn't seem to be a case of gratuitous nudity. Neither did the completely nude Gawain in Birtwhistle's opera of the same name. Sir Gawain is about to leave the court of Arthur; before his journey he is ceremoniously cleansed. The lighting is dim; the whole episode is conveyed in a way which makes it important to the story, and again there is no feeling that this is sheer gratuitous nudity. Likewise Maria Ewing in the Strauss opera 'Salome' felt it would have been more titillating to be wearing a G-string at the end of the dance of the seven veils; the sudden exposure of her motionless body at the end of the dance was far more dramatic. <P>I'm sure there must be cases where nudity is used for no good reason, and as a previous poster has said most people (especially opera singers!) look better with their clothes on. However, if you want an example of a ballet that leaves you in no doubt about its sexual content, but does it without resorting to nudity, look no further than 'The Cage'.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2002 11:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Um, what's the big deal? Shag, Salzberg, is there something here I'm missing?<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Hollywood activists battle arts center over dance featuring nudity<P>Noaki Schwartz, South Florida Sun-Sentinel<P>HOLLYWOOD -- A battle over art and censorship continues to erupt locally, this time around a feminist dance production that involved some nudity. This comes on the heels of a controversial exhibition of a painting showing the Easter Bunny and Santa engaged in battle.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://sunsentinel.com/news/yahoo/sfl-censor0125.story?coll=sfla%2Dnewsaol%2Dheadlines target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2002 9:55 am 
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Location: California
Having worked both with painters and dancers, I would venture that, to a certain degree, both seek to idealize the subjects with which they deal. The difference I would personally note is that it is much easier to idealize the human figure in repose than it is for that in motion. Reality tends to....uhhhhhh.....bounce to the fore.<P>Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode with the girlfriend who liked to lounge around the house au natural? Is there such a thing as "good naked" and "bad naked"?


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2002 1:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The story does remind me of Victorian days when artists were employed to paint bits of gauze over 'the naughty bits'. It's the sort of thing that gets 'Family Values' a bad name.<P>I reckon that the sensible Dutch have got it right. If they think nudity is appropriate then it's incorporated, otherwise not.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:56 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
That seems like the most obvious philosophy, but I suppose the problem becomes, appropriate to whom.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2002 11:50 am 
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Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Like Azlan, I am usually neither offended nor aroused by nudity in dance. However, I am bothered by the "woo!" cheers from the audience when they've seen something that they feel is intended to be sexual.<P>I always found the nudity in the Pilobolus performances I saw to be appropriate, although a story I heard from the company's manager around 1980(first name Mark) suggests that their use of nudity was sometimes gratuitous. Seems he was backstage at a peformance when someone came up to him and said that Moses and Allison's new nude duet was really great. Mark thought, "What nude duet?" He went to the wings and discovered that the dancers had just decided not to wear their costumes for that performance.<P>Concerning Bill T. Jones's comments about male nudity ("Bill T answered that by saying male privates are far more distracting than female ones), that might be true, as demonstrated by another anecdote about Pilobolus:<P>I saw the company perform "Untitled" at Stanford U. in the mid-'70s. When this piece was taped for Dance in America, the two nude men wore dance belts; however, in live performances (at least in permissive areas) they were completely nude. At this performance, a family with 2 little girls was sitting in front of me. The father would not stop talking thoughout the performance, so I learned from his conversation that he fancied himself a very sophisticated theatergoer. He was in the middle of warning his girls that there would be some nudity in this piece, but they shouldn't be shocked, because it was all perfectly natural. Suddenly, before the 2 men are supposed to be revealed, there was a brief, accidental flash of full frontal nudity. The father was struck dumb in mid-sentence, and didn't utter another word for the rest of the performance. I nearly laughed out loud (L'dOL?).


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Not dance-related but possibly relevant:

Quote:
Shock Jock: Is Nudity Dangerous?
Rare Sturges Retrospective In New Britain A Celebration Of The Body

By MATTHEW ERIKSON, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

In Jock Sturges' black-and-white 1998 photograph "Coralie, Nikki, Mylene, Estelle, Alice," five sensual female beauties are caught bathing in a river. <a href=http://www.ctnow.com/entertainment/stage/hc-sturges.artmar30,0,6028585.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Darts target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 3:45 pm 
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Posts: 3
Hello all!

I'm a bit late for the topic, but I just registered and wanted to post my opinion on this...

Nudity is a very in-time topic for contemporary dance, as the choreographer are always looking for something "new", more clear than what has been done before... because of this need, we sometimes find things that shock, things that we don't understand or simply don't find a reason for it, abstract movements going beyond our aesthetical understanding...

Nudity is sometimes used this way, and as such, I don't really agree with it...

If we use nudity in a symbolic way, to express vulnerability, as an example, it can be an interesting plus. But I think it has to be used with care...


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 55
Location: NYC
Well, hello, anybody ever seen Eiko & Koma, who very often perform naked? OR almost? And it is at once not sexy at all, totally erotic, terrifying, grand, infantile, human, nonhuman - so many things. Because almsot nothing is as eloquent as the simple fact of the human body. That's why we like dance in the first place. IN their use of 'nudity,' I see them entering a place of sublime purity, offering themselves to the ineffable sacred.

IF that encourages ticket sales, I'm all for it, because it's deep and meaningful, and can change our lives somehow. Their dance, Elegy, where each of them is naked in a shallow dripping pool of water...all that happens in about 20-30 minutes, is they turn around and lie down, but it is epic and devastating, and I will never forget it as long as I live.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 3:15 am 
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Posts: 11
To answer someone's quiery as to why most nudity in dance is female:

I believe it is based on pure physiology. Men wear dancebelts less for the aesthetic of it, and merely to move more vulnerable organs out of "harms way." So, for men to dance in the nude, would probably hinder the man from dancing to his fullest potential.

In a previous conversation I had with another dancer, there is a version of Giselle where Albrecht, in second act, makes his famous entrance nude. I will have to make further inquiries as to whom is was choreographed by, but as soon as I am sure, I will post it.

This thread aslo seems to be based on more, American notions of nudity. As I am sure many are aware of here in this forum, the attitudes of most European countries towards nudity are less... reactionary. So for them, it is less controversial and will enter into contemporary ballet more often. You will never see nudity in an A.G.M.A company because contractually(sp?) it is not allowed.


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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 4:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 9645
Location: Paris, France
As moderator for the french part, I must say that nudity in Dance makes subject of two topics, and in the both case, advice were not very different of american opinion, and the principal meaning was against nudity on stage which brings nothing to dance, as the famous Ek Giselle where Albrecht arrives naked not for his variation but at the end of the ballet as we must see that he has nothing on earth even a cloth.

I'm completely against nudity on stage and I'm not a puritan spirit. But I don't see the interest of nudity. Too many choreograph used nudity to shock audience, but they can shock without Suggest something than show it, is more interesting from my view. Even if contemporary choreograph use it, i found it uninteresting for the Dance.

<small>[ 31 March 2003, 05:54 AM: Message edited by: Cathy ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Nudity in Dance
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 6:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 537
Location: New Orleans, LA
I must beg to differ. Having this morning read carefully through the basic agreements for a few AGMA companies, I find no mention of nudity. In addition I don't see any mention of the prohibition of nudity as a basic provision of AGMA companies in general. What there is, in some cases, is the phrase that states that a company (not in every contract) cannot compel an artist to perform nude, such as:

DANCERS shall not have the right to refuse to appear in any dancing role as assigned by the Artistic Director except when morally unacceptable to the ARTIST (e.g. nudity).

which is not a clause just about nudity but about personal ethics, etc.

<small>[ 31 March 2003, 07:17 AM: Message edited by: librarian ]</small>


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