Stepping Queerly? – Theatrical Dance

In male-dominated culture it is often problematic for young males to take up theatrical dance.  Despite the development of gender-specific approaches to get more boys involved, dance education appears to be a prime site of oppression.  Located at the intersection of dance studies and the sociology of masculinity, this book presents discourses through which masculinities are constructed and performed in the area of dance education in Finland.

The book includes a detailed investigation of male identities constructed in relation to dance, gender and sexuality as well as an analysis of masculine embodiments and performances as a political rhetoric.  The author’s intertextual analysis focuses on the rejection of effeminacy, or the fear of stepping ‘queerly’, in male dancing.  Such fear, the author argues, underscores the complex question of the social legitimacy of dance art.

The author, Kai Lehikoinen, began his interest in dance when John Travolta appeared in Saturday Night Fever.  At the age of fourteen, he then took a disco dance course and then began tap dancing.  And, he’s been into dance ever since.  He is currently employed by the Regional Arts Council of Southwest Finland where he develops the dance infrastructure and is preparing a book on dance analysis.


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