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Is On-Stage Sexuality Art Or Pornography?

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Is On-Stage Sexuality Art Or Pornography?
How do you characterize sexual performance art?
The fine line between artistic expression and porn.

In a recent New York Times article, critic Alastair Macaulay also questioned exactly where that line was drawn. He recalled modern dance performances where everyone was on stage naked, a show where an artist had sat naked with a lard-covered groin, then proceeded to pull a needle and thread through his own scars on his skin, and more recently, a climatic moment in "Pâquerette," where the performers "inserted dildos up their backsides and kept them there for perhaps 10 minutes. The only dance moment of note occurred when, side by side, each held a balance on one foot while using the sole of the raised foot to hold the dildo in place."

Well, how would you categorize this? Even if the performance started out as an innocent dance that just happened to be done in the nude, does the art that was happening just moments before the anal penetration immediately get negated and renamed pornography? Or can we just call it what is actually is: expressionism, and likely a political statement of sorts, which is meant to evoke emotion in the viewer?

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As modern dance evolves and continues to push boundaries, we can expect to see more nudity on stage as a means not only to evoke that emotion, but to also give praise to the beauty of the human body and pushing its limits. We've come a long way from our Puritan past, so instead of trying to categorize and pigeonhole it to have only one purpose, perhaps it's time to accept sexuality on stage as an expression and thought-provoking experience.

Have you ever been to a burlesque or similar performance that blurs the boundaries between art and pornography?

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