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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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Choreographing Masculinity

Choreographing Masculinity

Hypermasculine Dance Styles as Invented Traditionin Egypt, Iran, and Uzbekistan

(p.287) 9 Choreographing Masculinity
When Men Dance

Anthony Shay

Oxford University Press

Anthony Shay describes and analyzes the attempted erasure of many kinds of traditional male dance styles in Iran, Egypt, and Uzbekistan. Realizing that Western colonial powers reacted negatively to what they perceived as effeminate and indecent in male dancing, many postcolonial political and cultural leaders sought to rid their traditional dance forms of any overt sexuality or, particularly, any activity that hinted at homosexuality in the dance world. In order to achieve parity with the former colonial powers, who were both hated and valorized, choreographers from state‐supported dance companies in these three areas created new, hypermasculine movement vocabularies that replaced much of what had been traditional. Shay details shifts in perception of older dancers, as well as the movement mechanisms and choreographic strategies employed by the state‐supported choreographers to erase the past.

Keywords:   Iran, Egypt, Uzbekistan, state‐supported dance, hypermasculine, homosexuality, choreographic erasure

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