Gay flamenco day

(Naked male bodies — genitals concealed — and references to man-on-man sex, but nothing flat-out raunchy, so use your judgment)

Midsummer Night (6/24, with fairies reveling in the woods) broke onto the feast day of St. George Michael of the Beverley Tearoom (b. 6/25/63), the patron saint of parks at night and of fellatio by men in public places  — a racy lead-up to Stonewall Day (6/28) — and then the Falcon / Naked Sword Store greeted me with e-mail exhorting me to “Get your Pride on” with its $9.97 DVD sale:

(#1) “Dance with me, Enrique”: you don’t see a lot of naked male flamenco dancers, even in gay porn ads, but there they are, sealing it with a kiss

Stylized, (necessarily) minus the costumes, but with the kiss as an extra. For comparison, a traditional (but much smaller, and porcelain) flamenco couple, in costume:

(#2) Lladró flamenco dancers figurine ($2,465)

Same-sex couple in #1, opposite-sex couple in #2, and then some fabulous gender-bending. From the NYT, “Flamenco Dancers Who ‘Move Between Genders’: Manuel Liñán’s “Viva!” represents something new to mainstream”, by Marina Harss, on-line 3/17/20:

A dancer in a long red dress stands alone in the darkness, facing away from the audience. A keening voice rings out and the dancer’s arms flutter slightly, as if awakened by its mournful sound. “Eres una rosa,” you are a rose, the singer intones. The dancer’s body sways slightly, as if gathering energy, before turning around in one swift motion.

What the audience sees is both expected and unexpected: a flamenco dancer coifed and dressed in traditional style, fierce eyed, focused. But there’s a twist: This dancer is a man — Manuel Liñán, the creator and star of the show “Viva!”

Flamenco being what it is — a centuries-old music and dance that developed out of the collision of cultures in southern Spain — what follows is as surprising as it is refreshing. A performance executed entirely in drag, by Mr. Liñán and six extraordinary male dancers, wearing colorful dresses and the fringed shawls known as mantones, hair done up with peinetas (decorative combs) and flowers. While one dances, the others accompany with songs, exhortations and palmas, the rhythmic clapping of hands.

More text, lots of photos. From which I’ve extracted my favorite:

(#3) Hugo López (photo: Camila Falquez for The New York Times)

I’ve never done drag, and I’ve never performed art dances of any kind, but I have to say I admire and envy López’s presentation of himself here. Stylized and steamy, essence of flamenco.

On the Easter egg patrol: “Dance with me, Enrique” (see #2). While I’m on steamy dancing, time to get down and dirty with Etta James — in the song “Dance with Me, Henry”. From Wikipedia:

“The Wallflower” (also known as “Roll with Me, Henry” and “Dance with Me, Henry”) is a 1955 song by Etta James. It was one of several answer songs to “Work with Me, Annie” and has the same 12-bar blues melody.

The song was written by Johnny Otis, Hank Ballard, and Etta James. Etta James recorded it for Modern Records, with uncredited vocal responses from Richard Berry. It was popularly known as “Roll with Me Henry”. This original version was considered too risque to play on pop radio stations.

The song is a dialogue between “Henry” and the singer [on the dance floor]:

— Hey baby, whatta I have to do to make you love me too?

— You’ve got to roll with me Henry

You can listen to Etta James doing the song here. It’s from my high school years, and I certainly danced to it then, but surely not at school dances; it provoked various levels of dirty dancing.

The dance version of the song title then got used for the title of a thoroughly clean (but silly) movie. From  Wikipedia:

Dance with Me, Henry is a 1956 film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. It is the final film that they starred in together [as the characters Lou Henry and Bud Flick, plus two orphan children]



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: