Posts Tagged ‘transgender’

#IntlDayAgainstHomophobiaAndTransphobia? Support a #ballez

May 17, 2013

Really.  There is a day (ok, several different days) that basically say it’s not ok to hate the non-heterosexual community.  I’m going to spare everybody my rant on that simply because I’m tired of writing it, saying it, and above all thinking about it.  Put it this way, every day, I’m reminded of how I’m “different”.  I’m over this.  Over it.  People blog about the sexualization/objectification of Disney FEMALE characters, has anybody looked at the images they present to boys?

Katy Pyle’s re-interpretation of The Firebird, a Ballez is MORE than just a queer ballet.  It is so much more than that.  This show re-examines how we present people.  Take a look at the picture below taken by Chrissy Pessango:

Chrissy Pessango Picture

Chrissy Pessango Picture

What do you see? More correctly, what do you see? Look at the different body types, look at the gracefulness each of these dancers holds.  Maybe one, ONE, presents the body type you would expect to see in a ballet.  One.  And here they are a dance corps, musicians who identify as non-heterosexual but teaching a much broader lesson: the presentation of the craft is the important part.  Shaking up gender expectations is huge: doing so with health body images? Well that’s nothing short of spectacular.

The show opened last night as St. Mark’s church (an Episcopal Church in NYC).  Yes, a mainline church supporting queer art.

The $10,000 Pyle is hoping to raise is to provide better pay for those who have contributed so much to this project.  Please help fully fund her.  The show is sold out.  The importance of this re-envisioning is not just important for the queer community but for every person.  None of us are that “perfect” image.  Pyle’s work is groundbreaking.  Pyle’s dancers are taking very real risks in their professional lives.  The church that is supporting them will undoubtedly draw (more) criticism.  That is the risk of being a ground breaker.

This is the link to the KickStarter campaign.  Please give what you can.  The project is so close to being fully funded.

And no, I was not paid to write this review (and I wish is I was in NY so I could go see the show!!!)

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The Firebird, a Ballez #queer #dance #kickstarter #feminism

May 16, 2013

“This ballet is the one I wish I had seen” . . .words, of course, you would expect to hear from the artistic director. The reality is that in the context of  The Firebird, a Ballez this is much more than a true statement.  Katy Pyle has re-envisioned Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird in a new image.  A queer image.  The clip from Kickstarter IS the ballet I wish I could see if I was in NYC this weekend.

I am far from a lover of ballet, I am impressed with the skill it takes to dance on ones toes (I’m thrilled to get through one day with stubbing a toe) but I’ve never felt a connection (I vaguely remember The Nutcracker and by vague, I remember this idea of child running around and the prince/princess and always been freezing cold in the theater) to ballet.

I clicked on the Kickstarter campaign because the artistic director is the sister of a college classmates.  I believe in projects in Kickstarter: we are all on this planet together and well, in this country we really don’t grasp “the arts” or funding for the arts.  As I watched the clip and listened to Katy’s reasoning for funding the project, I went back and watched the clip again. Without sound.

I saw me: not just the gay me.  But me.  The person who doesn’t look like a dancer. I saw people of different ethnic origins.  I saw not male/female roles but artists expressing their craft in a very gender scripted medium.  Yes, there were dancers who looked like dancers but compare the clip above to this one I grabbed from you tube.

Pyle’s project is more than just a “queer ballet and orchestra”.  The dancers look like everybody.  They present healthy body images with varying frames.  As I’ve replayed the clip in my head all day and thought about what I wanted to write about this amazing project.  I realized that Pyle is correct, this is a ballet I wished I would have seen.  Maybe somewhere in the back of my childhood brain I knew I was gay.  Maybe somewhere in the back of my head I knew I never had the body type to BE a dancer (even if I had the coordination).

The LGBTQ community has spent much of the spring in celebration as states grant the right to marry.  Now it’s time to show how it’s getting better in different areas of life.  The myths and fables of childhood which provide many of the gender norms which continue to be presented as acceptable need to be broken: not just for the LGBTQ community but for everybody. Every time I think of this ballet, I am amazed at the creativity.  I am in awe of the courage and I give thanks.  Maybe there will be a child watching who when s/he grows up s/he will realize s/he is LGBTQ and that the ability to dance doesn’t cross a gender bounds, that the stories presented in the struggles, the fantasy, the mythology of dances can be presented not as straight or queer but as what they are: human struggles.

Thin mints, cupcakes and seriously?

January 14, 2012

At times I feel like I’m living in a weird movie that if taken without copious amounts of coffee would lead to the utter collapse of Western Civilization (ok, maybe not that extreme!).  Any week that combines a full moon Monday with a Friday the 13th will now be spent under covers.  Or in suit of armor.  Then I caught up on the news of the week.  Apparently one Girl Scout is boycotting (and asking others to do the same) the annual Girl Scout Cookie Sale.  Look, I get that she is a kid: I don’t like a kid being politicized (either one!).  Adults need to step in here.  Girl Scouts from the time of, oh Juliette Low, have always been somewhat left-of-center.  And have always welcomed member and often with scholarship dollars to make sure all kids have the opportunity.  Radical, no, wait, inclusive.  This shouldn’t be a headline: it should be a teaching moment.  We don’t all have to agree on a topic, on an issue but we all need to learn civility and that really, everybody is welcome.  It’s not about religion: it’s about being kind and decent to each other.  The world is hard enough without encouraging our children to boycott each other.  Go buy a box of thin mints.

Oh, and why you are at it, buy a cupcake.  And go through a security line and report back.  In the update to Cupcake gate, a friend of mine appears on Fox and Friends (snark noted) because she dared to bring through a food item.  Look, before I get blasted by 394950 people about “it’s a new world” and “you are a fool”.  Back up to the start of the story: Rebecca brought through two cupcakes.  Both cleared Logan TSA (which flying out of Logan 10 or so times a year, I can say, there are post 9/11 screenings which are not found in other airports, two of the planes left from here).  Returning from Vega$, the one remaining was a “security threat”.  Ok, maybe the glass is questionable: wait, you can buy a Starbucks mug in airports.  Ok, maybe the ganache was more than 3oz (wait, the jar can fit into a Ziploc bag).  Ok, maybe the TSA policies are not clear enough? Bingo.  Don’t blame the agent: the guidelines are unclear (and if you don’t believe me, ask Rebecca, it was her cupcake and she has never slammed the agent).  Look, I cleared TSA in KC with the WRONG boarding pass (you know, that license and boarding pass check).  I was told by TSA that “happens all the time, but don’t worry, we still screen you” (um).  So, clearing TSA with the wrong boarding pass is OK, but damn, those cupcakes.

It’s a mad world people.  Thank God the Packers are still playing.  Cheese, Cookies and Cupcakes.  Perfect halftime snack.