Chapter

Men of the Dance

Gary L. Atkins

in Imagining Gay Paradise

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083237
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209305 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083237.003.0007
Men of the Dance

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Both at the time Walter Spies was in Bali and in the years since, there have been those who have blamed him and the other Europeans who arrived in the 1930s for bringing homosexuality to the island. This chapter details gender and sexual customs on the island, the impact of European voyeurism, and Spies's presentation of gender—and romance—in some of his later works, such as the movie Goona Goona, with which he assisted. It also examines his role in creating what has since become the most popular male dance associated with the island, the monkey-dance or kecak, a highly homo-erotic performance in which barely clad men serve both as armies and as exorcists of evil. Spies deployed techniques of light and shadow quite similar to those being used in Germany at Nazi rallies, but for a different type of male expression.

Keywords: Bali; kecak; Goona Goona; dance; monkey-dance

Chapter.  5762 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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