John Wilson performed, created and taught dance and music, and directed theater and opera productions.
He studied the Dada Surrealist movement and its influences on contemporary theater, and founded the New York-based company DaDaNewYork in 1986. He presented lecture demonstrations on Dada theater across the U.S. in 1990 and 1991. Wilson also presented Dadaist performances at Vassar College, at Dixon Place, Performance Space 122 and the Knitting Factory in New York, and in theaters in France and Germany.
He performed with his own dance group and with the companies of Joyce Trisler, Pearl Lang, Anna Sokolow and Valerie Bettis, the Juilliard Dance Theater and Kei Takei's Moving Earth company, and worked as an actor with Jean Erdman's Theater of the Open Eye.
Wilson was a founding member of the Joffrey Ballet, and performed with the company from its first tour in 1956 until he joined the Harkness Ballet in 1964. He returned to the Joffrey as guest artist in 1986, in the role of the Widow Simone in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee.
He choreographed works for the Joffrey and the Rebecca Kelly Dance Company, and for drama, dance and opera productions presented by universities and small theater groups all over the country.
Wilson taught at the School of Theater at Boston University, the Opera and Musical Theater programs at New York University and the Juilliard School, the Lincoln Center Institute, American Dance Festival, the Laban Center of London University, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and many other schools in the United States, Europe and the Far East.
John Wilson died of AIDS in New York at the age of 64 on February 24, 1992. —adapted by Nurit Tilles from New York Times obituary
Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (January 14, 2004)
Amazon: Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality
The radical sexuality of gay American men in the 1970s is often seen as a shameful period of excess that led to the AIDS crisis. Beyond Shame claims that when the gay community divorced itself from this allegedly tainted legacy, the tragic result was an intergenerational disconnect because the original participants were unable to pass on a sense of pride and identity to younger generations. Indeed, one reason for the current rise in HIV, Moore argues, is precisely due to this destructive occurrence, which increased the willingness of younger gay men to engage in unsafe sex.
Lifting the'veil of AIDS,' Moore recasts the gay male sexual culture of the 1970s as both groundbreaking and creative-provocatively comparing extreme sex to art. He presents a powerful yet nuanced snapshot of a maligned, forgotten era. Moore rescues gay America's past, present, and future from a disturbing spiral of destruction and AIDS-related shame, illustrating why it's critical for the gay community to reclaim the decade.
More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics
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