gender and solo blues dance

Christina has been doing the most interesting project I’ve seen in blues dancing. Ever. She’s addressing gender in a very fascinating way. Through dance.

She’s written up her project Solo dance performance: once as a girl and once as a boy.

I don’t have time to write about it now, but something I’m struck by: she can pull off drag like nobody’s business. And as Brandi points out, both of these performances of gender are in drag. Watching these videos I’m struck by the limitations of bodily experience: I couldn’t ever pull this off, because I have a bunch of boob, wide hips, and carry a fairly clearly gendered amount of flesh. Christina’s athleticism and physical type give her the perfect tools for experimentation.
Am I envious? Yes! This is some fascinating, powerful stuff. But it also makes me think: what if I dressed ‘boy’, but worked with my body and made it ‘fatty boy’? How much more transgressive would it be for a ‘fat guy’ to do this sort of sexualised/provocateur dancing? If past examples are anything to go by, it’d be even more transgressive. The fact that I’m immediately drawn to a conversation where I talk about bodies and the physicality of bodies in solo dance makes me think that this is important. I’ve been thinking about ‘fat’ and ‘skinny’ and the cultural meanings of both in the lindy hop world lately (well, I’m hardly ever not thinking about these things), and I think Christina’s work does the sort of thing good art should: it gets us thinking. It’s a provocation.

At any rate, I have lots to say (of course), but I have some post-event admin to do. But I’m going to keep mulling over these clips and rewatching.

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