May 4, 2021

Look to Dance to Understand the Everyday, and Other Lessons From Gia Kourlas

By Gilbert Cruz

1,376 words

The Times’s Culture editor has questions. Our critic has answers.

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Refreshed on May 14, 2021 at 5:49:18 pm

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May 14, 2021 at 5:49 pm CHANGED
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- As the editor of the Culture Desk at The New York Times, Gilbert Cruz relies on critics, reporters and editors in every field of the arts for their expertise. Now we’re bringing his personal questions — and our writers’ answers — to you. He’s currently wondering about how the pandemic has changed the way everyone (including dancers) think about their own bodies. It’s just one of the questions he posed to the Times dance critic Gia Kourlas.
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+ As the editor of the Culture Desk at The New York Times, Gilbert Cruz relies on critics, reporters and editors in every field of the arts for their expertise. Now we’re bringing his personal questions — and our writers’ answers — to you. He’s currently wondering about how the pandemic has changed the way everyone (including dancers) thinks about their own bodies. It’s just one of the questions he posed to the Times dance critic Gia Kourlas.
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  Gilbert asks: Gia, hello! I have so many questions for you, but I’m going to start very specific and then broaden out. I want to ask about your fantastic story from March in which you interrogate what a “ballet body” is and how this pandemic pause might change attitudes when it comes a dancer’s weight, being “too muscular” and the like. I have to think you heard a lot of feedback from the dance community. Can you share some of it?
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  Gia answers: It was important to me that it have nuance, and the feedback that I received assured me that it did. I really wanted to start a serious conversation; it’s such a loaded topic, but it’s a real one, and it even brought back my own issues and memories of being told that, as a dancer, I was too muscular. I remember being spoken to after class by a teacher — I won’t name him — who actually flicked his fingers at my thigh and said something like, “What is that?” Breasts being too big? I’ve been there, too.

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Headlines

  • Look to Dance to Understand the Everyday, and Other Lessons From Gia Kourlas
  • Look to Dance to Understand the Everyday, and Other Lessons

Tags

  • Dancing
  • Quarantine (Life and Culture)