Event Title

Erased and Invisible: Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Female Dancers in Dance Academia

Location

CSU 203

Start Date

20-4-2015 3:15 PM

End Date

20-4-2015 4:15 PM

Student's Major

Theatre and Dance

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Julie Kerr-Berry

Mentor's Email Address

julie.kerr-berry@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Theatre and Dance

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

In this presentation, the author discusses how queer women are still largely ignored in dance academia and dancing spaces. The three main reasons explored are; the erasure of queer women in dance historical texts and dance history classes, how sexualization and objectification of the female body can hinder queer female visibility in dance, and the difficulties that queer female professional dancers face that can prevent them from rising to prominence. The paper discusses how historically important female dancers, specifically Isadora Duncan and Loie Fuller, have their sexual orientation ignored, while the sexual orientation of male dancers like Ted Shawn are frequently discussed, and are a common topic in dance history. Queer women also struggle with visibility as female bodies are often seen as objects of desire instead of people with desires. This makes it difficult for female dancers to express romantic attraction to one another on stage, as they are not seen as capable of feeling attraction in the same way a male dancer does. Finally, the discrimination that lesbian and queer female dancers is discussed, with emphasis on how queer women are not only pressured to be silent about their orientation, but are forcibly silenced in that they are not given the same leniency for exploration outside of dance that their male peers are given. All of these factors add up to queer women being invisible in western theatrical dancing spaces.

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Apr 20th, 3:15 PM Apr 20th, 4:15 PM

Erased and Invisible: Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Female Dancers in Dance Academia

CSU 203

In this presentation, the author discusses how queer women are still largely ignored in dance academia and dancing spaces. The three main reasons explored are; the erasure of queer women in dance historical texts and dance history classes, how sexualization and objectification of the female body can hinder queer female visibility in dance, and the difficulties that queer female professional dancers face that can prevent them from rising to prominence. The paper discusses how historically important female dancers, specifically Isadora Duncan and Loie Fuller, have their sexual orientation ignored, while the sexual orientation of male dancers like Ted Shawn are frequently discussed, and are a common topic in dance history. Queer women also struggle with visibility as female bodies are often seen as objects of desire instead of people with desires. This makes it difficult for female dancers to express romantic attraction to one another on stage, as they are not seen as capable of feeling attraction in the same way a male dancer does. Finally, the discrimination that lesbian and queer female dancers is discussed, with emphasis on how queer women are not only pressured to be silent about their orientation, but are forcibly silenced in that they are not given the same leniency for exploration outside of dance that their male peers are given. All of these factors add up to queer women being invisible in western theatrical dancing spaces.

Recommended Citation

Glover, Patricia. "Erased and Invisible: Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Female Dancers in Dance Academia." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/oral_session_15/1