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Queer Dance$
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Clare Croft

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199377329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199377329.001.0001

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Last Cowboy Standing

Last Cowboy Standing

Testing a Critical Choreographic Inquiry

(p.205) 12 Last Cowboy Standing
Queer Dance

Peter Carpenter

Oxford University Press

Gays and lesbians inaugurated their own country-western dance spaces in the early 1980s, coinciding with the advent of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, which was marked by an anti-queer, cowboy politics. Reagan’s disregard for queers came into devastating relief with his administration’s reckless disregard for the rise and spread of AIDS. The author’s 2007 choreographic work Last Cowboy Standing interrogates Reagan’s rhetoric through a contemporized cowboy choreography that positions his own queer body in an interrogatory relationship to Reagan’s public speeches throughout his political career. Engaging with popular conceptions of the cowboy, the author oscillates between describing knowledge gained in the studio to theorizations of his own work, testing a critical choreographic inquiry as a form of self-reportage.

Keywords:   cowboy, Ronald Reagan, choreography, queer, gay, AIDS

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