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When Men DanceChoreographing Masculinities Across Borders$
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Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386691.001.0001

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Is Dance a Man's Sport Too?

Is Dance a Man's Sport Too?

The Performance of Athletic‐Coded Masculinity on the Concert Dance Stage*

(p.91) 3 Is Dance a Man's Sport Too?
When Men Dance

Maura Keefe

Oxford University Press

Maura Keefe argues that choreographers in the United States have very often drawn inspiration and themes from the world of sports, leaning especially on the image of the male athlete as a key iconic representative of masculinity. The relationship between homophobia and both real and perceived notions of “masculine” physical prowess is highlighted in analysis of Vaslav Nijinsky's ballet Jeux (1913), Ted Shawn's Olympiad (1936), Gene Kelly's television special Dancing—a Man's Game (1958), and Twyla Tharp's Dancing Is a Man's Sport, Too (1980). Concluding that the anxiety over male dancers and effeminacy is far from being overcome, the chapter ends with an analysis of reaction to the participation of football icon Emmitt Smith on the reality television series Dancing with the Stars.

Keywords:   sports, dance, homophobia, Nijinsky, Jeux, Ted Shawn, Olympiad, Gene Kelly, Dancing—a Man's Game, Tharp, Dancing Is a Man's Sport, Too, Dancing with the Stars

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