In a black and white image, dancer Ann Reinking stands with her long legs in a V, hands hovering over her chest and elbows up. She wears a long sleeve leotard and heeled character shoes; her tie-on dance skirt shows motion. Beneath the photo appears bold text in huge yellow letters “Broadway Bodies.” This text appears in the O of Bodies: “A Critical History of Conformity”. In white text: “Ryan Donovan.”

The Body Politics of Broadway: An Excerpt From the Recently Released Book Broadway Bodies: A Critical History of Conformity Sheds Light on Musical Theater’s Longtime Fixation on Physique

The dominance of what I call the Broadway Body—the hyper-fit, muscular, tall, conventionally attractive, exceptionally able triple-threat performer (one highly skilled in acting, dancing, and singing)—became Broadway’s ideal body as the result of a confluence of aesthetic, economic, and sociocultural factors.

"But What Does It Mean?" A New Book Deconstructs Contemporary Dance

As a contemporary dance critic and lover of the art form, I have spent countless hours in bars and restaurants after a performance at The Joyce or New York Live Arts trying to explain to befuddled friends the “meaning” of a particular piece. Some admit to being fascinated but ignorant; others find the movement vocabulary […]

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