When Segah dances, everybody cheers. His hips slope then shake; the muscles on his stomach vibrate with the coin belt across his loins. The drumbeat speeds up. The glitter on his chest and the gold band around his neck catch the spotlight, reflecting its glare back to the hundreds of audience members — men and women alike — craning their necks to the stage. Here at Chanta Music, a gaudy, velvet-lined nightclub off Istanbul's high-octane Istiklal Street, belly dancing — and the adulation its admirers confer — is not limited to women. Male belly dancing is hardly a new phenomenon in Turkey.
Gaiety Theatre, New York (male burlesque)
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When he was 7 years old, future choreographer Tere O'Connor donned a white V-neck tennis sweater, a pair of very short shorts, and his father's trout fishing boots and sashayed down the street of his blue-collar neighborhood in Webster, New York. That inspired act of creativity was probably his first choreographed performance. I thought I was a real charmer. The stereotype of male dancers automatically being gay—not to mention the myth that dancing makes you queer—is a concept that Americans, in particular, love to embrace, as if to protect their own macho image. And yet, gay men do seem to be drawn to dance and to other creative and equally stereotyped occupations like interior design, hairdressing, couture, and musical theater for various reasons. In the universe of the arts, gay men keep some impressive company: Marcel Proust, Michelangelo, Lord Byron, Tchaikovsky, Tennessee Williams, Montgomery Clift, and Leonard Bernstein are only a few of history's homosexuals who have made their indelible mark. And, by the way, if you fear being around gay men, you probably should stop reading this article right now and quit dancing immediately, because you're destined to meet a few along the way.
By Jerry Oppenheimer. They wrote thousands of letters. Millions of kids from Brooklyn to Beverly Hills ran home from school every weekday to watch them dance, imitate their styles and fantasize about their lives.
By Marina Harss. A dancer in a long red dress stands alone in the darkness, facing away from the audience. What the audience sees is both expected and unexpected: a flamenco dancer coifed and dressed in traditional style, fierce eyed, focused. Flamenco being what it is — a centuries-old music and dance that developed out of the collision of cultures in southern Spain — what follows is as surprising as it is refreshing.