Dr Emily Bernhard Jackson, of Robinson College, will address today's Lunchtime Seminar on the subject of tango and gender. Wednesday 9 November, 1.00pm, Combination Room. Please bring your lunch; tea & coffee provided. All welcome!
Abstract: At its creation, tango blurred gender boundaries. Men danced with men to become good enough to dance with women who were scarce enough to be able to perform the traditionally male activity of choosing (or not choosing!) partners. The art thus confused canonical gender stratifications. As it is understood in society at large, however, tango is associated with heteronormative sexual roles and traditionally male characteristics:passion, machismo, intense sexuality. Yet beneath this remains gender instability:tango as it is danced maintains gender fluidity. Moreover, the issue of gender remains alive in discussions over who may ask whom to dance, who is worth dancing with. Indeed, gender roles are slowly becoming a more major issue as Queer Tango is more widely noticed and accepted: it seems that tango may be returning to its fluid gender roots.