Nudity Prompts Dance Cancellation

A participant in this summer's Faculty Performance Dance Series has withdrawn one of her pieces from the performance after being told she was required to change portions of the dance.

Lynn Shapiro, founder, choreographer and director of a New York based dance company, has withdrawn her dance piece "Under Ice" after Iris Fanger, director of the Dance Center in the Harvard Summer School, required that she change scenes which contained male and female frontal nudity, Shapiro said.

"Iris said it bothered her seeing the woman's public hair, [so] she asked that I change it; either that I clothe them, or that I ask them to turn away," Shapiro said.

Shapiro was unwilling to change her piece, and withdrew "Under Ice" from the program.

"Under Ice" was performed at Radcliffe last summer, Shapiro said, and she was subsequently invited to join this summer's Faculty Performance Series to perform the piece again. In addition, she assumed summer teaching responsibilities at the Dance Center.


"It's part of the Performance series, and Iris had seen a video of my work also," Shapiro said.

"[Fanger] felt that at Radcliffe, she was seeing it [the dancers' frontal nudity] from much farther away and she didn't notice it as much," Shapiro added.

Fanger refused comment to The Crimson, but told the Globe last week that she made an appropriate executivedecision in asking that the piece be changed orremoved from the program.

"When I saw [the piece] in a theatre for anintimate audience, I saw a piece that concludedwith full frontal nudity by a beautiful womanunder bright lights, followed by full frontalnudity from a man." Fanger said.

"In this context, in this space, it made mesqueamish In this context I thought the piece wasinappropriate. And as director of the program, Ihave the right to make that decision," she said.

But Shapiro said the nudity was notinappropriate and is a means of expression in herdance.

"This is a very sad piece. I think it's aboutdepression and it's very internal," Shapiro said."I spent a lot of time thinking about why theclothing would come off."

"It wasn't an aim at the time, it seemed like akind of a release," she added.

"Under Ice" involves four dancers, one of whomwas brought to Cambridge especially to performthis piece.

The nudity scenes of the dance involve one maleand one female dancer.

A review in the New Hampshire Gazette describesthe nudity in "Under Ice" as "nothing prurient.Nothing to shock the sensitive."

"The man with his clothes off never touches thewoman with her clothes off," Shapiro said. "Thereisn't any dancing with breasts flying about ordangling body parts or anything.