Dance and Sex and "Family"

I love this post by Counter Critic. Jacob’s Pillow (the esteemed summer dance festival held in Massachusetts) accepted his friend’s work but then asked her to delete some parts because the venue at which the company was to perform was deemed “for family.” CC covers all the bases: what is “family,” why accept a work then ask the artist to censor herself, why are adults even so hysterical over their children hearing the word “sex,” etc. Taylor mentioned she was attending a discussion tonight held as part of the New York Fringe Festival on issues involved in gearing dance performances to “families.” I wonder if this kind of thing will be discussed…


  1. There was a piece performed at the Pillow about 12 years ago by an all-male group (Men Dancers, honoring Pillow pioneer/founder Ted Shawn) in which the dancers wore short skirts and nothing underneath. The piece opened on a Wednesday and caused such a major to-do in the local press that on the second night and for the rest of the performances the men wore dance belts.

    When we started going to The Pillow in the late 70s it was a pretty cool place, pretty much an “anything goes” venue; but by the mid-90s it was becoming something of a tourist attraction, with busloads of senior citizens and children arriving, esp. for matinees. That kind of audience is not going to be accepting of anything too blatant.

  2. Ah unfortunately I didn’t make it to the discussion about it…very interesting topic for discussion though…

  3. That’s really interesting, Philip. I didn’t know things had changed so much. That’s really too bad. It’s good that it’s become more popular, but why does that always have to mean a watering-down.

    Oh no, Taylor, I was hoping you’d go! I was going to go, but then that ridiculous thunderstorm happened… Is NY beginning to have a monsoon season like Thailand and the Philippines?…

  4. Hm, interesting… the family friendly issue brings up something that recently came up in conversation. I recently met someone who was involved with the box office at the venue where Rasta Thomas brought his Bad Boys for Dance. The box office received a FLOOD of complaints regarding Rasta’s piece with the male dancers rolling around the floor with the blow up dolls and the “when in doubt, shake your butt” routine. There was also another section that included the song, “I’m Too Sexy”. Anyways, there were lots of girls in the audience, such is the “So You Think You Can Dance” crowd (the troupe included a dancer from that TV show), even as young as 6 or 7 I would say. I guess no one had screened what Rasta’s programming, but just thought that it was interesting.

  5. That’s VERY interesting, Jolene! I would like to see them again; they didn’t do either of those pieces when I saw them at Jacob’s Pillow. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Comments are closed