While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
Since its founding in 2007, Zhukov Dance Theatre has presented an annual weekend of dance rooted in ballet but without its aesthetic restrictions. Artistic director Yuri Zhukov began at St. Petersburgs Vaganova Academy and Kirov Ballet Company, both bastions of the grandest classical tradition. The company embraces elements of Martha Graham-esque modern dance, street dance, and even a bit of dubstep, and chooses dancers with strong ballet foundation plus experience in other forms. This year Zhukov presents Product 04. Among the dancers is Sergio Junior Benvindo de Souza, a former contestant on So You Think You Can Dance: Scandinavia and 2007 winner of the International Disco Championships. Zhukov describes the production in terms of the waking mind and the sleeping mind. The latter, he says, has one amazing difference: the censor control is switched off, allowing the subconscious to run free. Accordingly, the dancers shared their dreams to help create the atmosphere. The soundtrack includes contemporary classics as well as electronic music and digitally recorded sounds. Austin Forbord and Rapt Productions provide visual effects.
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Sept. 2. Continues through Sept. 3, 2011