Re: Long interview with Tony Mendez

On Aug 9, 6:35 am, Kath <cre...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Aug 9, 1:23 am, Tom W <blee...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

katycren wrote:
On Aug 5, 6:54 pm, Tom W <blee...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The interview is with the ballet writer for Time Out magazine. There's only a
little about LN and LS.

Thank you so much, Tom, for posting this!  The details of Tony's life
are fascinating and very moving, too. But I think I loved reading
about the different dancers and their ballet performances even more
than reading about Tony's career with the Late Show.

I usually post the link and a relevant excerpt, especially for a long article. I
only posted the link this time because the way Tony talks there is the way he
talks to us at DaveCon after the show. He's happy to take the time and talk to
us a lot, and answer questions, and then he has to rush off because he has
tickets for the ballet that night.

Just because I wanted to look at the dancers Tony mentioned for
myself, I googled them. I know you want to see them, too.

Me personally? No. When I left Pittsburgh as a young man, I got a sense that the
blue collar culture of masculinity I was raised on was too restricted and I
spent a lot of time getting exposed to new things, especially in the arts.
Ballet, and dance in general, was one of those things that never stuck. I
respect and admire the dedication of the performers and I get the idea of
telling a story through the movement of bodies, but that's as close as I can
come to appreciating it.

It is difficult for males to get into dance unless they have a group
of people around them that is into it as well. Like *any* art form,
imo, growth only occurs if people are feeding off of other people and
their ideas. To me that is how great movement in the arts occurs, by
groups of people genuinely developing their ideas in a collaborative
arena. Very rarely will you see an artist who has developed a style
just on their own. And I mean this through all creative expression ie
fashion, dance, fine arts, writing, music etc. I see multiple
influences as being very important to the growth of arts.

My son, the clavical impaired one, is a dancer, but he has a community
of dancers (many of my friends both male and female are professional
dancers and dance instructors, though I am not) that support and
encourage him in a community atmosphere with his physical development.
Community support, imo, is vital to help male kids who want to develop
themselves through body movement to overcome our sometimes cruel
Australian "typical bloke" mentality can be hard and denegrating with
homophobic overtones (ya' pufter, ya' fairy) that can deter male teens
from dance.

I must say that if it wasn't for our friends and their kids all being
into dance, I do not think my son would have developed an attitude
that dance is a natural and appropriate physical activity for guys.
That being said, my kid really grooves on it and, well, good on him
because manifesting beauty is really cool.


When I lived in SF in the '70s, the sister of a friend of mine was a
dancer in a well-known city troupe, and I went to a couple of their
performances. I initially had a lot of difficulty appreciating what I
was seeing until I made the connection between dance and music:
watching their movements reminded me of a musical ensemble, where all
parts helped fill the whole.

That's when it clicked.