elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Charles Desjardins & Juan Antonio

Born March 11, 1962, Quebec City, Quebec, Charles Desjardins graduated from Laval University in Montreal in 1983 with a degree in actuarial science.

In 1983, Desjardins worked for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company of Canada, and from 1983 to 1985 he worked in the ratemaking department for Wellington Insurance Company. While at Wellington he was responsible for implementing and updating the company’s loss reserving databases and evaluating its IBNR needs. Desjardins moved to Commercial Union in Toronto, Ontario in 1985 as an actuarial assistant. Desjardins became an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1989. Christopher J. Townsend (FCAS 1986), a colleague of Desjardins at Commercial Union, recalled his clever wit. In particular, Townsend remembered Desjardins’ definition of a large loss as being a “failure to meet plan.” Although Desjardins left the actuarial field in 1992, he continued as a member of Ontario Conference of Casualty Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

A close friend of Desjardins, Andrew Hamilton, described him as the “life of every party.” “At every gathering, you would be sure to see him, fashionably dressed, talking a mile a minute and surrounded by people,” said Hamilton. Desjardins was a thoughtful man who never forgot birthdays or anniversaries and whose gifts were always beautifully appropriate to the occasion. “Charles was a brave man,” said Hamilton. “Living with a terminal illness was both difficult and debilitating, but Charles remained cheerful, optimistic, and concerned about others. Few of his friends knew how ill he was because he hid it so well. He was always asking about his friends, rather than dwelling on his own problems. We miss him.”

Charles Desjardins died February 20, 1998 at the age of 35. His companion, Juan Antonio, an accomplished dancer and occasional choreographer, closely associated with the work of Louis Falco, had died on 24 May 1990.

Source: http://www.casact.org/pubs/proceed/proceed98/981118.pdf

Juan Antonio (4 May 1945, Mexico City - 24 May 1990, Toronto, Doctors Hospital, age 45) was an accomplished dancer and occasional choreographer, closely associated with the work of Louis Falco. (Picture: Juan Antonio in Louis Falco's Kate's Rag. Photo: Francette Levieux)

He trained at the American Ballet Theatre School in New York and at the American Ballet Center before debuting with Nuevo Teatro de la Danza Mexico at age 18. At 19 he joined the Ballet Clasico de Mexico and went on to guest with such troupes as the Limon Dance Company and Netherlands Dance Theater, and with the companies of Pearl Lang, Anna Sokolow, Carmen de Lavallade, and Glen Tetley. 

He co-founded the Falco Company with Louis Falco in 1967 and became associate artistic director and choreographer of the company until the company disbanded in 1983. He also choreographed for the Ballet Nacional de Espana and later moved to Toronto to take the position of balletmaster and co-director of Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. 

In 1985 he co-founded the Toronto-based company Confidanse, with Fanny Ghorayeb. The company performed in his honor August 1990 and officially folded in 1991.

Obituaries indicate that Antonio was survived by his companion, Charles Desjardins, his mother, Ophelia, of Mexico City, and his father Juan Antonio Jimenez, of Spain. According to Fanny Ghorayeb, Desjardins died in February 1998 at 35.

Per Alan Sener, Falco biographer, Desjardins was the executor of Antonio's estate. (Ghorayeb explains that Antonio did not have an official will, but his wishes were that the possessions go to Desjardins and the work to Ghorayeb.) After Antonio's death, Desjardins placed all of Antonio's material in a trunk. When Desjardins died, Fanny Ghorayeb called Sener, and they went through the material together, with the help of the executor of Desjardins's estate. Ghorayeb kept all material related to Confidanse, and Sener kept all materials pre-Canada, in his collection at the University of Iowa. 

"The material was in a trunk in a basement and I (Ghorayeb) knew I needed to get it. What I have now is the trunk. Alan and I went through it and he took whatever related to Louis. And whatever remained I kept. Some videotapes, however, are missing. I think what happened is that when Charles passed away, the person in charge of his estate cleaned the house, and probably took videotapes and gave them to the family and threw the rest away. But I do have enough of a record to tell what most of the Confidanse pieces are."

Source: http://www.artistswithaids.org/artforms/dance/catalogue/antonio.html

Further Readings:

Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (January 14, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 080707957X
ISBN-13: 978-0807079577
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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Tags: dancer: juan antonio, days of love tb
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