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Robert Abrams
Arts and Education
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

A Potential Choreographic Opportunity Arising from Children's Calendars

by Robert Abrams
November 6, 2011
New York, NY
I was in a crafts store today and noticed coloring book calendars titled Boy's Calendar and Girl's Calendar. The boy's book featured trains, cars and helicopters. The girl's book was covered in flowers, fairies and unicorns. It is probably true that many boys and girls might choose these options, but there is no need to reinforce the stereotypes in the titles.

As the father of a three year old daughter, I have become more sensitive to what we tell children is possible. I know from personal experience that these stereotypes are simply wrong: my own daughter loves playing with trains. Today she said, "Only girls can sit in the center," as she sat in the center of her train set.

I would love to see a dance that starts with these kinds of stereotyped images, and then breaks the boundaries. In addition to the potential for breaking gender boundaries, there might also be opportunities to create dance roles for people who happen to dance with wheels. I have a feeling that a complex artistic statement could be created from such a deceptively simple starting point, and that we would be the better to have seen it.
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