David Gere, who came of age as a dance critic at the height of the AIDS epidemic, offers the first book to examine the interplay of AIDS and choreography in the United States, specifically in relation to gay men. The time he writes about is one of extremes. A life-threatening medical syndrome is spreading, its transmission linked to sex. Blame is settling on gay men. What is possible in such a highly charged moment, when art and politics coincide? Gere expands the definition of choreography to analyze not only theatrical dances but also ACT-UP protests and the unfurling of the Names Project AIDS quilt. These exist on a continuum in which dance, protest, and wrenching emotional expression have become essentially indistinguishable. Gere offers a gripping portrait of gay male choreographers struggling to cope with AIDS and its meanings.
David Gere is associate professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. A longtime dance critic, he has previously contributed essays to Loss within Loss and Dancing Desires, both published by the University of Wisconsin Press.