Barton Mumaw, Dancer: From Denishaw to Jacob’s Pillow and Beyond

Author: Jane Sherman, Barton Mumaw
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2000)

Paperback: 330 pages
Language: English
ISBN13: 978 0 8195 6453 5

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An intimate portrait of American modern dance and gay life in the 1930s.

Barton Mumaw, a soloist in Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers Company (1933 – 40), participated with his mentor in Shawn’s lifelong struggle to win respectability for male dancers within American culture. In this as told to autobiography, Mumaw relates dramatic stories of the company’s groundbreaking cross-country tours, of their building Jacob’s Pillow from pre-Revolutionary hardscrabble to preeminent dance festival, and tells for the first time of his intimate relationship with dance pioneer Ted Shawn. This is revealed through details of their lives together and apart, descriptions of their dances, and a stunning selection of rare photographs.

This exceptional memoir, first published in 1986, will engage the general reader and is bound to attract scholars who seek to conjoin the many current works in gay and lesbian studies with today’s equally numerous critical works in dance.