whistle while you work

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Microaggressions, stereotypes, double-standards, discrimination, unwanted come-ons, manipulation, isolation, bad jokes, and pithy comments: ABUSES OF POWER and SEXISM in the ARTS and in DANCE come in all shapes and sizes.

Using art as a backdrop is not an excuse.  Change the names, be anonymous, but don't let little perpetrations go unnoticed, no matter how big or small.

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Bursting into the dressing room

While changing in the women's dressing room backstage, very suddenly Marley Springbreak, a well-known choreographer, (who, although not working with us, was in-residency in a studio at the same Tanzhaus at the same time my group was performing onstage) opened the door and walked in.  All the women present froze, surprised by his uninvited presence in our supposedly private space.  He trained his eyes on one woman who was seated in front of a mirror, and said "My goodness, you look incredible today!" She looked at him through the mirror, with wide eyes, nervously laughing responded, "Who, me? Oh, um, thank you."  I turned to him and said "Excuse me, can I help you?".  He looked at me coldly, making it known I was interrupting his interaction with the other woman and said, "Oh don't worry, you look good too," before he walked over to her to continue his conversation.  His presence was so imposed and authoritative, I silently questioned whether or not I was even in my designated dressing room.  No longer comfortable changing there, I hurried out of my own assigned space. 

 

-Francesca Chiaveri, dancer, astonished by the practiced swagger of a man who evidently regularly uses his authority to assume power over women