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Twelve Men for One Woman: How Madonna’s Dancers Changed Gender Codes with the Blonde Ambition Tour | Feminism

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The relationship of the LGTBIQ + community with the pop divas gives for its own essay. In fact, a few have already been written. Beyond the obvious aesthetic considerations, the very important vindication of excess and the externalization of the fabulous that has inspired millions of people who lived in hiding and in fear to become visible, the key to that devotion lies in the fact that, at some point in any LGTBIQ+ life, when there was no one with whom to share important things, there they were like Marian apparitions full of brightness and colors to accompany solitudes that from the cisheterosexual prism were and are difficult to understand. But who accompanies the divas in their moments of appearance? What about his choirs of seraphim who polish the throne and sing his praises? The members of these women’s dance groups usually go through massive and intense selection processes. The diva in question sets some parameters that are taken into account during almost the entire casting phase until there are a few left and then she intervenes in the final choice. The theme of the tour has an important weight in this process, of course, depending on the musical and aesthetic parameters that are going to be staged, some dancers will be more suited to these needs, but the final decision is never exempt from political and cultural biases. After all, the diva is putting her immense focus on a group of artists who, for at least one tour, will be exposed to the world in a way that few events can match. And this always carries a message: who and how has come to have visibility. A still from ‘Truth or dare’. Due to a generational issue and because perhaps she was the first to have a vision of the corps de ballet that went beyond the purely scenic, I have to talk about Madonna. Through the documentaries Truth or dare and Strike a pose we get to know in depth the dancers who accompanied Madonna on her legendary tour The Blonde Ambition World Tour -perhaps the most emblematic in its history- and the relationship they had while working with her. About the concrete, their personal lives, the anecdotes with the diva and between them, etc., the documentaries speak, about how they impacted the world that contemplated them and how they marked the path that forever changed the importance of the dance groups, I want put the accent on this text. For a teenager from the group, seeing that display of feathers, affection and apparent intimacy between a group of gay men and the undisputed queen of the world in 1990, was a blaze of hope and joy at a time when serophobia associated with homophobia was rampant. at ease, and publicly shaking hands with a gay man with visible sarcomas was little short of considered an act of sainthood. Madonna was not only accompanied by them in the performative, she gave the feeling that at that exact moment, it was more or less planned or scripted, they were a bit of her family. To this day, Kevin Stea continues to say that Madonna was a mother to them. It was ensured that two members of the cast, José Xtravaganza and Luis Camacho, belonged to one of the most important houses of the New York ballroom scene to record Vogue with them, a mainstream tribute to the backbone movement of LGTB lives, especially trans, black and Latin Americans. , from the city. She herself went to one of the balls, saw them dance and signed them up for the tour as dancers and choreographers. That cannot be forgotten. We learned their faces and their names by heart and suddenly they occupied a space in the folders of boys and girls from school and institute who, with more or less shame and enduring the pertinent dripping, we dared to show them as references, which was a way to show ourselves at a time when that was expensive. The final number of the Blonde Ambition Tour, ‘Keep it together’. The image was taken at the performance in Hamburg, in November 1990. In Truth or dare, the documentary that was translated here as In bed with Madonna and that came out associated with the tour, a little later, they occupied a very important part. of the footage and quite explicitly, including a pride parade attended by almost everyone, with their faces uncovered, perfectly visible to the world, the first time in my life that I heard the famous “I,m here, I’m gay, get used to it”. In addition to openly kissing on camera and openly talking about their intimate relationships. All that visibility and their unquestionable talent to round off the show in which Madonna carried the pride flag around the world, in which she gave us an anthem like Express Yourself, turned them into stars and consequently, they became a refuge and hope in times of stigma and shame. Three of them: Carlton Wilborn, Salim Gawloos and Gabriel Trupin were diagnosed with HIV before being booked for the tour. None said so for fear of public consequences and yet they carried the anti-serophobia message far and wide. That was the world in which these boys became culturally and politically relevant figures. Whether it was calculated or not the case is that it did and Madonna blazed a trail that has been beautifully used by other divas, especially Beyonce, her commitment to the black liberation movement and how she has elevated this commitment beyond their corps de ballet to a movement cultural in itself, a mainstream update of protest and the beauty of African-American art that cannot be compared. Although I am not the one to assess it with the justice it deserves and not be the recipient of that direct impact, I do appreciate the wonder of her proposal and the political implications it has. Despite the rivalries between them, the monster context of Lady Gaga, a perfect example of permeability between stage and public, almost of a chosen family, is the son of that hopeful proposal of mother Madonna and her dancers. The dance corps matters, everything chosen by someone who is in the center of the world for a moment is relevant. The dance groups associated with the goddesses of pop, rhythm & blues, hip-hop or reggaeton are neither troupes nor mere dancers. From that Madonna of 1990 onwards they are part of the conversation, they exist by themselves, they are pure representation and the political inhabits them as artists and as public figures. They also say a lot about what the central figure around which they orbit wants to say or about who they have decided to share the largest focus with. You should give them your full attention.

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– Article Written By @Alana Portero from https://smoda.elpais.com/feminismo/doce-hombres-al-servicio-de-una-mujer-como-madonna-cambio-codigos-de-genero-e-hizo-escuela-con-el-blonde-ambition-tour/

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