Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: growth of dance in America
Jacobs, Ellen W.
The dancer: [why everybody suddenly loves dance], pp. 266- PDF (6.2 MB)
gender, the Women's Movement encouraged men to allow their emotional sensitivity to surface, a liberation which also freed them to appreciate art without fear of raising society's eyebrows. The male dancer had been traditionally regarded as a "queer" or "faggot." His assumed homosexuality assigned him margi- nal status in a society intolerant of noncon- formity. Gay Liberation's relatively successful attempt to take some of the social onus off homosexuality by arguing it to be an alterna- tive life style instead of a form of deviant behavior allowed "straight" men to enjoy dance without feeling identified with an art form inhabited by social outcasts. Where ten years ago I would have found a violinist or poet seated next to me at a City Ballet per- formance, now there are salesmen, bankers, and lawyers, who can drop dancers' names as easily as they can those of baseball players or football stars. The dance explosion also has important economic roots. In addition to the relatively recent support from the Mellon, Ford and Rockefeller foundations, the art has received significant financial subsidies from both state and federal sources. It was in 1965 that the government, most notably the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, began to put sig- nificant amounts of money into dance. It was a remarkably visionary and sensitive response to feeling that something was in the air. Implicit in this much needed financial encouragement was an official approval of the art, and a spiritual reassurance that the gov- ernment was taking dance seriously. Tzaddik, Eliot Feld, choreographer. Courtesy: WGBH, Dance for Camera, Boston.